Faurecia automates production processes with RAIN RFID
Since 2015, Faurecia has engaged in a strategic transformation of its operations, guided by Industry 4.0 principles. Part of this strategic transformation is the digital transformation of manufacturing operations that optimize Faurecia’s production lines using RAIN RFID. After Faurecia implemented the RAIN RFID solution in 12 of their plants, they found:
Improved operations throughout multiple plants Increased efficiency in parts stocking
Reduced manual tasks such as shipping, receiving, and transferring
Increased customer satisfaction thanks to greater product traceability
Automated manufacturing line reduces tracking costs
The automotive industry is undergoing a technology revolution and Faurecia is charting a course to transform their manufacturing and shipping operations. After evaluating other technologies, they found an easily deployable RAIN RFID solution that would optimize operations and provide real-time visibility of inventory-both key factors for improving customer satisfaction. By tagging items that enter the plant and implementing Impinj readers along the manufacturing line, they optimized their logistics process while eliminating redundant manual steps.
Impinj Monza R6 tag chips are attached to each item as they are manufactured. Items that are tagged include bags, boxes, and finished products.
Impinj xSpan gateways are installed at key transition points such as manufacturing points and loading dock doors. Readers are configured to suit the space and regional wireless regulations.
Items are read at transition points and then data is passed to Impinj ItemSense software to determine the direction of movement. Key information is then passed along to field operators.
Faurecia worked with Impinj and partner UBI Solutions to create a RAIN RFID solution that can now be deployed within one week at each new plant. With the success of existing deployments, Faurecia plans to expand its RAIN RFID project to additional plants and warehouses worldwide.
By teaming with Impinj we were able to streamline and automate our manufacturing and shipping processes. We can deploy the RAIN RFID solution in one week at our plants around the world.
Emmanuel Schröder Digital Transformation Project Manager, Faurecia
Faurecia’s RAIN RFID solution increases plant efficiency, optimizing production and shipping
Improved operations across multiple plants After rolling out the RAIN RFID system across 12 of their manufacturing plants, Faurecia saw an improvement in their operations at all locations. With their new increased visibility, field workers had both a better understanding of the activities on the plant floor and the data needed to make informed decisions about future operations.
Real-time inventory monitoring leads to more efficient parts stocking Real-time monitoring of Faurecia’s inventory allows the company to maintain accurate stock levels at all times. This contributes to an overall increase in production efficiency, ensuring that the right parts are available for the right customers when needed.
Reduced manual tasks load such as shipping, receiving, and transferring Automating tasks such as shipping, receiving and transferring have reduced manual work. This reduction to proofing declaration on the line and in the shipping processes, ultimately optimizing the cost of operation.
Increased customer satisfaction with fewer incorrect or lost orders By automating tracking of their shipping and receiving operations, Faurecia ensures customer satisfaction with highly accurate information on stocked items and improved parts traceability.
How can the Impinj platform transform your supply chain? This blog explores the ROI of applying RAIN RFID.
Why RFID for Supply Chain?
For real-time data for real-time decisions In a global market, a supply chain can cause logistical challenges for an enterprise. In order to operate efficiently and effectively, businesses must know their inventory levels, inventory location, and intended destination. RAIN RFID helps track inventory, automates manual processes in the supply chain, and makes data on individual assets and inventory available in real-time.
The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID, a passive wireless technology, to empower businesses and consumers to locate and identify billions of individual items. Impinj has enabled over 40 billion items to be connected to the Internet of Things in industries such as healthcare, hospitality, air travel, and industrial manufacturing. RAIN RFID can be used in a wide variety of applications within these industries: this blog will outline why some of the most dramatic ROI is happening when RAIN RFID is used in the supply chain.
How can RFID be used to manage inventory?
To know where everything is, in real-time IoT technology, particularly RAIN RFID, is gaining popularity as an inventory management tool. It’s a logical transition: RAIN RFID takes some of the doubt and a lot of the work out of counting and monitoring inventory. By attaching or embedding tags into products and using RAIN RFID readers instead of barcode scanners, taking inventory becomes much faster and nearly 100% accurate. RAIN RFID can identify and locate up to 1,000 individual items per second. Taking inventory with a RAIN RFID handheld reader is 25X faster than with a barcode reader.
RAIN RFID saves time, money, and labor hours by automating and streamlining different parts of the supply chain process:
Automate verification of shipments A RAIN RFID shipment verification solution can deliver real-time visibility, create confirmation or exception alerts, and initiate shipping and receiving workflows. RAIN RFID, provides visibility into a warehouse so goods can be tracked as they move in and out of a facility. When connected with internal systems that run shipping and receiving, businesses gain information that can automate even more aspects of the job.
Automate verification of pallet contents A pallet contents verification solution that uses RAIN RFID can verify that the correct cartons have been loaded onto a pallet. Packers can receive alerts when items are missing. Further, the contents of a pallet can be automatically matched to the order documentation, so there’s no more wasted time hand-scanning barcodes.
How Impinj is Helping Supply Chains with RFID Technology
Impinj RAIN RFID tags provide real-time data on the location of pallets, packages, or individual items, such as parts or assets. The Impinj platform then connects that data to existing enterprise software systems, providing businesses with a flexible solution to automate and streamline different processes within their supply chain.
Companies around the world rely on Impinj to connect objects to applications, applying RAIN RFID to solve challenges in their supply chain with successful results:
China Outfitters improved their efficiency in inventory, shipping and returns procedures 25 times over.
In addition to saving time and labor, there are some unexpected benefits of adding RAIN RFID to your supply chain. Accurate real-time inventory frees companies from having to buy safety stock, which ties up US $24.2 billion per year for North American companies. Once China Outfitters no longer had to open and reopen boxes to verify contents, they were able to save time and money on everyday consumables like packing tape—which really adds up when you’re supplying 850 retail outlets.
The SLS RFID smartPALLET is smart, easy and cost-effective! Perform full asset inventory, including location, in your warehouse, distribution center, storage facility or truck yard in hours, or less, instead of days.
Once reliability,consistency of operation, expandability, maintainence and process interruption costs are factoredin, SLS portals often offer the lowest overall cost.
No installation, all self-contained (reader, Wave® antennas, battery, cabling, wireless)
Can be used by numerous forklifts and/or pallet jacks – “one-to-many”
No need to handle items to read tags
Roam to read
Read floor / location RFID tags and/or use GPS, indoor beacons, etc. for location
In an unprecedented action for a technology company, CCRR RFID, the main RFID (radio frequency identification) tag industry in South America and one of the top 10 in the world, participated in the São Paulo Carnival ‘sambando’ on Avenida. As part of the Carnaval 4.0 project and the Tempos Modernos plot of the Rosas de Ouro Samba School, CCRR RFID technology monitored the time and movement of the School’s members and floats during the parade.
As Marcio Muniz, Executive Director of CCRR RFID, explains, the idea is to demystify and democratize technology, bringing it closer to people. “A lot is said today about IoT (internet of things), but people do not always realize that these technologies are accessible and are closer to their daily lives than they imagine.”
The Rosas de Ouro parade – ‘Modern Times’ – was designed to offer a set of physical and digital experiences at the Sambódromo. The CCRR RFID tags were in the costumes of the more than 2,000 members, in the 05 floats and in the clothes of the entire operational team of the School. All data were collected during the parade by 8 RFID UHF Impinj readers, who form 4 check points, and were projected, in real time, on panels arranged in the Sambadrome; they were also stored to assist in further analysis of Rosas’ performance in the 2020 parade.
The digital project of the Rosas de Ouro 2020 parade had the technical support of GS1-Brasil, USP, FEI, Mauá de Tecnologia Institute and Technological Research Institute (IPT). Companies like CCRR RFID joined the project as technological partners to spread the message: it is possible to use disruptive technologies to eliminate boundaries between worlds, but it is necessary to demystify and democratize these technologies and show that this digital revolution is for EVERYONE.
Who is CCRR RFID
Considered the main RFID (radio frequency identification) tags industry in South America and one of the 10 most important in the world, CCRR RFID is part of the CCRR Group, one of the Brazilian leaders in the production of self-adhesive films and papers, tags and labels. The Group currently has three plants, located in São Paulo (SP), Campo Mourão (PR) and Montevideo (Uruguay), in addition to offices in Argentina and the United States.
Recently, an investment of more than R $ 100 million was made in the expansion and modernization of factories. Part of this investment was directed to the business unit focused on RFID technology and allowed to increase the productive capacity by 20 times. Annually, the company has a production capacity of 1 billion inlays and 2 billion RFID tags.
This increase in capacity aims to expand the supply to the international market and meets important projects based on the application of RFID technology in Brazil, such as the toll system and in the clothing segments (clothing tags); sports (street races and marathons) and real estate (access to residential and business condominiums).
RFID solution with Impinj technology aims to eliminate failures in the marking and identification of harvested bales, which guarantees more quality and better price
30 de July de 2020
By Edson Perin
ID-Cotton developed a radiofrequency identification (RFID) solution three years ago for the traceability of cotton, from the harvest to its processing. Flávio Tarasoff, executive director of ID-Cotton, says that it is a product aimed at the annual harvest. “We started with a production unit and today we already have more than 45 using the solutions”.
Bom Futuro Agro Group, largest Brazilian cotton producer, it was a pioneer in the use of ID-Cotton. Then come the units of the Scheffer, Amaggi, Locks and Cortezia Agro Groups, all from Mato Grosso, which together represent more than 20% of the Brazilian feather production. “For the Brazilian harvest, Conab estimates that the area with cotton should reach 1.7 million hectares in 2020, while production should be relatively stable at 2.82 million tons”, he informs.
Headquartered in Cuiabá (MT), ID-Cotton centralizes in its headquarters office the production, operation, support and sales of the systems. “In addition, this year we established ID-Cotton Agribusiness LLC, in the United States, based in the city of Doral, Florida,” says Tarasoff. “The location is strategic, because it is close to the local port and airport, and will concentrate the manufacture of equipment to distribute on the international market, with the kits already ready. The proximity to Texas is also a facilitator, because there is the largest cotton acreage in the USA ”.
Tarasoff spoke exclusively with Edson Perin, editor of the IoP Journal, about this project. Find out more by watching the interview below (vídeo in Portuguese):
ID-Cotton’s solutions for cotton traceability aim to combat flaws in the marking and identification processes of harvested bales. In addition, they eliminate manual labels, handwritten spreadsheets, “spray painting on canvas and other ancient methods of identifying producer, farm, variety, field, border and contaminants.
The ID-Cotton system facilitates yard management and processing, avoiding contamination of cotton varieties, ensuring the final quality of the product and also the price of the feather cotton sign.
The Impinj partner community represents a wide range of services, geographies, solutions and domain knowledge complementary with a common theme: the search for the best RFID solutions in the category. According to Gaylene Meyer, vice president of marketing and global communication at Impinj, the company continues to build relationships with partners who can best meet the needs of agribusiness for asset tracking, livestock management, supply chain traceability and more.
“We are pleased that ID-Cotton has chosen the Impinj platform for this important agricultural industry project,” says Gaylene. “Its successful deployment is an example of how the Impinj platform allows our partners to connect items to the Internet of Things, improving visibility and increasing efficiency “.
All management before the ID-Cotton RFID system was carried out in the cotton sector through labels and manual processes, such as bar codes. The RFID implantation follows the passive EPC UHF standard, from GS1. “The main benefit is the traceability of production, operational management, storage and increased gain in the classification of the feather, when using all ID-Cotton tools”, he guarantees. The tags in use are equipped with Impinj’s Monza5 and Monza 6 chips, from the moment of harvest until the bales are processed.
“This year we are importing the data that was recorded on the canvas tags for the new RFID tags, which will be added to the cotton lint, which can be used for packaging management, screening of laboratory analyzes, cargo management, loading and unloading and classification plume in the next production chain, which are the spinning mills ”.
In practice, after the cotton harvest, the RFID tags – inserted in the cotton rolls – are read and recognized by means of a tablet with the ID-Cotton system. This information is synchronized with the company’s ERP, which in a second moment automatically reads the loads of these rolls through an RFID portal when transferring the cotton crop, dropping the cotton from the crop and transferring this stock into the processing unit.
“One of the most important factors”, explains Tarasoff, “was the technological change, because before in the harvesting and transportation of cotton, barcode labels were used, which presented several flaws, from lack of reading to registration errors, since the process was done manually ”. The solution developed by ID-Cotton offers integration with management systems (ERP). “By facilitating the marking and identification of bales in the field, the ID-Cotton system has an impact on increasing productivity and reduces the team in the field”.
With the bales receiving a unique identification, transport management becomes more agile, as well as the real-time location of each package. “Our technology reduces the time in the yard and the use of the scale,” he says. “Finally, the system saves on personnel, labels and manual processes, guaranteeing real gains in the final value of cotton”. Because it is modular, ID-Cotton serves the major players in agribusiness and can also be used by farmers, cotton units, cooperatives, among others.
The RFID technology from Impinj, a manufacturer of reading equipment and radio frequency identification chips, was chosen by ID-Cotton to be added to the platform developed by the Brazilian company. “We used the equipment in the Speedway Impinj line, with changes in the controller’s firmware and an operating rule developed together with the ID-Cotton team and the Impinj engineering,” reports Tarasoff.
The Impinj platform used throughout the cotton tracking solution contains Impinj Monza chips and tags attached to cotton rolls, Impinj Indy chips with RFID functionality for handheld readers and equipment used in the field and on farms and processing centers for read the rolls. Impinj Speedway readers are used in portals and elsewhere to read the rollers.
The ID-Cotton and Impinj partnership is ready to compete in the international cotton market. Impinj products operate globally and can be used by ID-Cotton as they expand their solution offering. Australian cotton gin operator Southern Cotton had previously announced the use of Impinj products in this sector.
The RFID readings were related to the mass, density, structure of the vehicles that handle the cargo, climatic conditions, rain, serene, humidity, position of the bale in the trailer, variety of trailers with different heights and volumes, angles of attack of the scales and flaws in other manufacturers’ processes. “As it is a completely new technology, there were many challenges, most of which were focused on transportation”, attests Tarasoff.
The differences in tare weight of the truck without the load and the structure of the vehicles, as well as the variety of trailers with different heights and volumes and the position of the cotton bales, were questions analyzed to carry out the readings without fail. “Climatic conditions”, says Tarasoff, “how rain, sun, serene and relative humidity also influence and the system needed to take these variants into account”. To carry out the weighing at the stations, it was necessary to check all the angles of attack of the scales on the roads so that there were no reading errors.
According to Alexandre Carvalho, information technology manager at Bom Futuro Group, the advantages of using ID-COTTON have been many, starting with the gain in reliability in cotton traceability. “Technology has also promoted more agility in the field and in transportation with automation in weighing trucks. All of this generated greater quality of information for decision making ”, he explains. “Now, we intend to expand RFID into the production process, ensuring quality and shipment of cotton bales”.
Another gain was the integration of data collection from John Deere harvesters, within the ERP, as well as all integration of this information with the ID-Cotton System, in a cloud database. “The high productivity in the field, thanks to the agility in data collection, data reliability, more information for coordinated analysis with GPS, humidity, harvester, driver, etc., certainly met expectations”, says the executive.
Analyst Roxanne Meyer writes that she has long argued that radio-frequency identification, which is often used for tracking purposes, is the key technology that separates the leaders in retail from the laggards. In the pandemic era, that thesis is all the more relevant, she argues, as the current environment has only increased the need for as much inventory accuracy as possible.
As we’ve noted before, online sales are booming, and along with that are more returns and demand for contactless shopping options, such as curbside pickup. All of these require real-time inventory accountability, especially if retailers don’t want to disappoint shoppers, who may go elsewhere if orders get delayed or canceled, or employees can’t locate items that are supposed to be in stock.
Meyer notes that some retailers have been quicker than others to use RFID to their advantage. Their names are likely familiar to anyone who has been paying attention to retail stocks lately.
“The early RFID adopters are athletic apparel companies such as Lululemon athletica (LULU) and Nike (NKE) who benefit from both higher demand for casual clothing, as well as from a more seamless supply chain, which we view as a competitive advantage that will separate them further from the pack over time,” she wrote in a research note.
Meyer believes that the pandemic has pushed retail to a tipping point, where those that can take advantage of strong RFID investments will reap the benefits. “We expect to have much more to say on this topic into the second half and beyond,” she concludes.
Mark Timms, CEO of MobiZcan, Impinj’s representative for Latin America and Brazil.
Although focused primarily on the Latin America RAIN RFID and data capture market, I also follow what is happening in RAIN RFID in the North America region. I would like to share my observations on the RAIN RFID space in the United States during this period of uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus.
Like Latin America, many projects have been delayed due to extensive social distancing and economic uncertainty. The general belief is that the American economy will spring back to pre-COVID levels, but it is likely to take two years or more. There is a debate as to whether the recovery will be more “U” or “W” shaped. A “V” shaped recovery is looking increasingly unlikely.
It is also likely that post-COVID, some business models will not look exactly the same as before. With the widespread usage of video conferencing and on-line collaboration there may not be the need to travel as much. With the closure of so many retail stores and the growth of e-commerce, the retail sector, already in transformation, has been forced to accelerate its re-invention. Some experts believe that the large department stores that anchor shopping centers will not survive, at least not in their present form. Other retailers, especially those without a strong e-commerce presence, may go out of business.
Digital transformation is now hot, and although the effects won’t be immediate, I expect RAIN RFID to play a significant role. Many retailers, leading with fashion, had justified item level tagging prior to COVID-19. Omni-channel sales require very high real-time visibility, which only item-level RAIN RFID tagging can provide.
The big retail winners in the day of COVID are the large and efficient online retailers, most notably Amazon, and large retailers with groceries and home goods and a strong online presence, especially Walmart and Target. Amazon’s business accelerated so much that it has struggled to deliver on time. Walmart has seen both strong performance in its stores and with its e-commerce site, often using its stores as omni-channel distribution centers. Having earlier announced wide-spread item tagging beginning in the second half of 2020, the COVID crisis hasn’t impacted Walmart’s RFID roll-out plans for this year. The product mixes have changed somewhat since the Coronavirus arrived, but demand for these fortunate retailers remains strong.
Interest in logistics for RAIN RFID is robust and in some cases has accelerated. There are several very significant RAIN projects in logistics that will become visible this year or next, which will help to further fuel investment in this area. Several projects at very well-known companies will become public, causing other companies in their eco-system to consider investing in RAIN infrastructure to reap similar benefits. Logistics applications are generally dock door transitions and shipment verification (pallet and box level) and conveyance sortation systems (box level). In addition to increasing visibility, RAIN RFID has proven to greatly reduce the manual interventions required with barcodes alone, thereby reducing errors and associated costs.
Healthcare, a potentially huge but slow-moving market for RAIN RFID, is showing interest in tagging of PPE products, which could help accelerate adoption of RFID with consumables in general.
There is much that we don’t know and is difficult to predict. Clearly there will be winners and losers. However it’s becoming clear that at least in some segments, the COVID crisis may actually accelerate RAIN RFID adoption, most notably in e-commerce, omni-channel and logistics.
In hospitals and nursing homes, cleanliness is care
Patients need a hygienic environment for best results, but in a busy hospital, nursing home, or other care facility, the difficulty of checking linens and garments in and out can be a barrier to frequent laundering. By making it easier to exchange clean and dirty linens, the 2Trace SmartGarment solution built on the Impinj platform encourages more frequent laundering, promoting better hygiene and preventing cross contamination.
In addition to making it easier to exchange linens, the 2Trace and Impinj solution gives hospitals valuable data on asset usage, allowing them to save on storage, prevent inventory shrinkage, and plan for future needs.
Improved hygiene, shorter waits, less shrinkage
Cleanliness is an important aspect of hygiene and safety requirements. Automatic tracking of textiles and uniforms through the laundry cycle helps hospitals keep track of important assets and prevent contamination.
Automated services allow multiple people to check laundry in and out at once, leading to faster lines and shorter waits
Faster and simplified check-in system encourages frequent garment changes, reducing the risk of contamination or spread of infection
Automatic data collection helps predict future trends and needs
Easy garment tracking ensures every garment checked out is recorded, reducing inventory shrinkage, and providing visibility into laundry location and availability—even offsite in cleaning.
Data collection for informed linen usage
The 2Trace and Impinj solution encourages frequent washing: the convenience of using portable textile depots encourages frequent changing. Additionally, garment tracking helps prevent cross-contamination by informing employees of previous linen usage and notifying hospitals of inappropriate usage patterns.
Garments more available when needed
A customer dashboard shows how many clothes are available or soiled at any given time and tracks overall trends, allowing customers to anticipate their future use, reducing the need for storage.
Reduces (inventory) shrinkage
While RAIN RFID can’t help you with laundry shrinkage, it can prevent inventory shrinkage. Easy garment tracking provides a real-time overview of where all textiles are, including timing of pickup and delivery.
Simple to use and easy to set up
The system comprises three parts: a garment depot, a return area, and a website. The depot is portable, allowing it to be placed conveniently close to workspaces. The solution is scalable from 80 employees to 8,000.
Today we announced the availability of the Impinj M730 and M750 tag chips. The first in the Impinj M700 endpoint IC family, the new chips provide high performance, fast inventory capability, and advanced features for next-generation, universal RAIN RFID tags that can be attached to, or embedded in, nearly any item, and operate worldwide.
Bring IoT to Retail and Additional Markets with High-Performing Tag Chips
Impinj M730 and M750 tag chips expand RAIN deployments, powering small tags that enable solutions for high-speed inventory counting, loss prevention with frictionless self-checkout, and embedded tagging with seamless product returns. The new tag chips introduce a new Protected Mode which enables loss prevention while protecting consumer privacy by making a RAIN tag invisible to RAIN readers. The tag can be returned to normal operation, and made visible to RAIN readers, using a secure PIN.
With over 30 billion items connected, Impinj tag chips connect everyday items to the Internet and are the industry standard for RAIN RFID solutions for retail, air transportation, healthcare, and more.
Improve Reliability and Readability of RAIN RFID Tags
The Impinj M730 chip has 128-bit EPC memory while the Impinj M750 has 96-bit EPC memory and 32-bit user memory. The new chips allow users to operate their RAIN RFID readers faster than with other tag chips, reducing inventory time and improving productivity. They also
Optimize performance and improve tag readability with Impinj FastID high-speed reading and enhanced Impinj AutoTune adaptive RF tuning
Ensure accurate data and reliable tags with Impinj TagFocus read redundancy prevention, Impinj Enduro IC bonding technology, and enhanced Impinj Integra memory diagnostics
Impinj is taking orders now for the Impinj M730 and M750 chips and new products based on these chips are expected over the coming months from leading RAIN RFID inlay manufacturers.
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