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فناوریهای شناسایی و ردیابی

بارکد ، RFID ، شناسایی با امواج رادیویی ، ردیابی ، ردگیری، ردیابی ماهواره ای ، GPS ، بینایی ماشین ، بیومتریک ، کارت هوشمند، سنسور

۳۰۸- IMPACT OF RFID IN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

           IMPACT OF RFID IN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY                          

Case study:  Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Audi, Renault-Nissan

 

Al ireza Feridooni

Renault car manufacturing Company, Renault IRAN supply manager

Key words: TPS, RFID, Supply chain, SC intelligence, Lean, Agile, Leagile, Tag, reader 

Abstract:

     In the automotive industry, high quality is absolutely mandatory to meet customer needs. Not only does it meet customer needs, it is required by law to protect the safety of passengers riding in the car. If products fail, automotive manufacturers may face expensive lawsuits. As a result, many quality control checks are applied during the production of a car. These quality control checks are expensive and take a lot of time. The automatic identification of parts using RFID can be used to streamline the process of quality control along the production line.

   When errors are discovered in a product after it has been sold to customers, products need to be recalled in some cases. When a recall is implemented, it is important to act quickly and efficiently so that customers can bring their vehicles into a dealership to get the defective part replaced. These operations are very expensive. The task of addressing and locating the correct customers is costly.

    RFID technology can provide real time data on where affected products and parts have been used and pinpoint which customers possess the defective vehicle. Using RFID, data recorded during the production process could be linked to the customer’s contact details after the purchase of a vehicle.

    The automotive industry currently represents 46 percent of the RFID market. In addition, car manufacturers spend about 30 times as much as retailers on RFID technology.

     In this paper, we will have an analysis on the reason of this more RFID motivation in Automotive industries. Some cases like Customer Focus, Demand Chain, Outsourcing, Mass Customization, Total Quality Management and Life Cycle Compression.

The result of this paper will shown us the high mandatory needs of RFID usage in automotive industries and in this way who is begin soon begin more benefits.

During this paper the statue of five important car manufacture about RFID application data, will be shown by some detail which will be so good to have a general compare about their global status improving during this years. 

Key words: TPS, RFID, Supply chain, SC intelligence, Tag, reader 

1-     Introduction:

   The automotive industry is always facing new challenges. Even though the supply chain and manufacturing processes have been improved drastically since the beginning of the automotive industry, there are still many problems that must be addressed. Vehicle manufacturers are always looking for new ways to streamline their supply chain and manufacturing in order to save time and money. The automotive industry must invest in new technologies like RFID in order for them to meet those requirements.

RFID technology can help close the information gaps inside the supply chain. The applications of RFID in the automotive industry are vast and can help automate and solve many logistical problems. With the automotive industry using RFID in their supply chain, the information of product flow can be tracked in real time as products move through suppliers, manufacturers, distribution networks, dealerships, and even recycling. In other words, RFID will allow pure visibility into the supply chain.

Though RFID technology will definitely help streamline the automotive supply chain and its manufacturing processes, there are still many challenges that must not be overlooked in order to implement RFID technology. This paper will investigate: Supply chain intelligence, the automotive supply chain, RFID technology, Challenges of implementing RFID into the supply chain, Current examples of RFID being used in automotive industry.

In this paper, it will started by moving from SCM to e-SCM, during this section the new advance SCM will be introduced as supply chain intelligence(SCI), the radio waves will be presented by focus on RFID  technology, the RFID impact in SCM and applications by focus on automotive industries will be shown after that,

Some case studies will be reviewed by final section to share the real experiences as well.

2-Movement from SCM to e.SCM

2.1-Information technology in supply chain management

   Recently the concepts of supply chain design and management have become a popular operations paradigm. This has intensified with the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) that include electronic data interchange (EDI), the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) to overcome the ever-increasing complexity of the systems driving buyer–supplier relationships. The complexity of SCM has also forced companies to go for online communication systems. For example, the Internet increases the richness of communications through greater interactivity between the firm and the customer. Supply chain management emphasizes the overall and long-term benefit of all parties on the chain through co-operation and information sharing. This signifies the importance of communication and the application of IT in SCM. (This is largely caused by variability of ordering).

Information sharing between members of a supply chain using EDI technology should be increased to reduce uncertainty and enhance shipment performance of suppliers and greatly improve the performance of the supply chain system

Figure 1: A framework for the development of IT for effective SCM

2.2-Supply chain intelligence

   Technologies have evolved from early decision support systems to Business Intelligence (BI) tools which perform complex strategic and tactical analyses of data stored in data warehouses. A key attribute of BI is to provide online analytical processing (OLAP): this complex, multidimensional view of data allows the user to make forecasts, track trends, analyze customer relationships, and discover hidden patterns in the data.

A specialized and recent application of BI is Supply Chain Intelligence (SCI). SCI is the practice of providing data warehousing BI right across the entire supply chain. It is a valuable enabling tool in integrated Supply Chain Management (SCM), which recognizes that businesses no longer operate in isolation but that their competitive success depends on how well the whole supply chain works in delivering value to the customer.

The partners, rather than keeping each other at a distance and trying to limit each other’s power, recognize that they share common interests and can gain competitive advantage through a co-operative approach. SCI allows them to do this, providing visibility of information and online analytical capabilities across the supply chain, and supporting forecasting, planning and dynamic supply chain optimization.

3-Radio Waves review

   Connections with radio waves are on the base of the physics lows and electromagnetic waves energy. Due to these points we will have some review on the principals’ concepts as below: 

 As you know, all the space behind us are full of the radio waves like which you normally named  FM,AM,VHF,UHF,… .In fact, a radio wave is an electromagnetism wave that spread by antenna. The radio waves have several frequencies; these frequencies are in the standard categories by their applications.

 FCC (Federal Connections Committee) is the responsible of management and decision making about frequency spectrums, issuance of authorization or determine the standards in the united state.

                                                Figure 2: The radio waves frequencies

   The radio waves have a speed near to light in the air. This point is base of the fast connections that is very important in this technology. The radio wave measurement unit is “hertz” or cycle per second and for the elder scales we have “KHz” kilo hertz,” MHz” mega hertz and same the like these. (You can find all the categories by frequencies in table 1),

   There is an inverse relationship between wavelength and the frequency of an electromagnetic signal, it means that the higher frequency have the lowest wavelength. Generally, the signals with the higher wavelengths can pass the distance more and better penetration ability on other things.

                                                               

                                         3.1- Automation Identification

   Automatic Identification is identification of all by machine (not man) .in the AI systems, the receiving signals from the objects analysis and the data will be extracted.

In this system:

- The reliability of data is more than manual systems

- The speed of data collection is so more in compare with the manual (as you know, in the production systems, this indicator is very important by FMS or JIT systems)

You can see all kind of usual Automatic Identifications with short explanation in below:

Bar Codes, OCR, Magnetic Ink Character Recognition, Magnetic Stripes,                                                                                                                                           

Radio Frequency and Surface Acoustical Wave, Voice recognition

                                        3.2- RFID definition

   Radio Frequency Identification is identification of physical items by radio waves.

The data will be transferred by suitable equipments such as tag and special recognition signals then the data will be received by the readers, finally in the exact time /location will be collected in the data bank by suitable method.

   RFID is approximately near to barcode in purpose of mechanism but in the RFID the reading process will be done by radio waves.

   The transferable data in barcode can increase till maximum 30 byte but this number is around 125 Kilobyte or 1 Megabyte for RFID.  The frequency limitation of RFID technology is depended to the allocated frequency table of each country. Surely, Low frequency signals have the ability to cover more distance with good influence in the objects. The problem of this waves is the low capacity in use the bites.  In the high frequency the theorem is completely vise versa.

                           3.2.1-RFID Short history

   Because of this point that the RFID technology has been lunched and developed recently more, a lot of peoples think, this is a new technology, but The RFIDs’ background refers to “Faraday” detection in 1864 based on this theorem that the light and radio waves are the shapes of electromagnetic energy.

Some sources believe that RFID technology has been applied between the experts and specialists from 1920 and has been completion by 1960.

Other same technology that had a most similarity with RFID was IFF. IFF was appearing in British on 1939 that was effective equipment in world ware 2 in enemy’s airplanes recognition.

   In 1946 “Léon Theremin” is invent equipment for the Soviet government in purpose of spying, this equipment had ability to transfer the radio waves and frequencies from different objects to the special places. The reflex of radio waves has been compiled by the mentioned voice waves with move a diaphragm that was connected to a vibrator machine. In spite of low ability of this machine (it was designed for hidden hearing and not identification tag), it’s name, registered in the title of first machine that has been worked by RFID technology.

   After that, an American researcher in the name of “Harry Stockman” published a paper in the title of “The connection by reflex ion force” in 1948 and predicated that objects, different thing even the mans could be recognized by radio waves that this is necessitate to more investigations.

   In 1969, the first economic plan introduced for economic investors as below headlines:

Applications in transportation (Automatic identification of vehicles, Automatic charges pay system, electronics’ announcements, path tracking of the vehicles, supervision on the vehicle earning), Banking tasks (electronic document controlling, electronic credit cards), Security operations (personnel recognition, automatic gates, alarms), medical cases ( identification of medical files)

   In 1970, a researcher in the name of “Mario Cardullo” detected an RFID system that the radio waves have been transferred independent and RFID had memory. Because of this invention that was very similar to the RFID of to-day, he named the father of RFID technology.

   In 1971, the first actual RFID experience has been done in Nioyork’s airport in the taxed payment section. (It has 16 bites memory)

The research about RFID has been done by several persons in current/past years that certainly each other were useful in developing of his technology.

To have a review on this brief history, see the Figure 3:

                   Figure 3: Evolutional route of RFID

                                                                                                

                           3.2.2-RFID Ingredients

   Generally, a normal RFID label (tag) contained of Microchip, one macro strip antenna, and one printable surface (Figure 4).The microchip connected to antenna and the antenna installed on the printable surface. This microchip has the ability to save till 2 kilobytes information in itself. This information can be, date of sending the part, production date, Destination, Sales date, etc.

   Advance tags are capable to cryptography. About some customization ability in the tags we can write symmetric-key, public-key and      hashing.  In order to take this data from the label, we need to have a scanner or reader equipment. Normal reader equipment contains one or two antenna to send the waves and receives the signal from label. 

Figure 4: A RFID tag

- Tags

   The tags (also known as Transponders) connect on the goods like a label. Data capacity can range from 16 bits to as much as several thousand bits. Greater capacity is associated with higher price.

Form factor (size, shape, sensitivity etc.) of the tag and antenna structure vary and can either be self-contained or embedded as part of a traditional label structure and depend on the physical products and operational environment. In compare with barcode, the tags are capable to save more date and have a more safety in rubbing and pollution. 

With above explanations, the tags categorize as below:

* Passive

   This kind of tags, haven’t any local energy producer source. The energy will be provided from radio frequency signals that sent by reader equipment and received by tags antenna.

   In fact, this tags work by reflection system it means that the tag doesn’t send the waves independent by itself but as soon as receive the signals from the reader, tags will be active to send the data on time.

The cruising-range of this kind is till 3.3 meter.

            *Semi-Passive

   This kind of tags are similar to the passive with this deferent that it has a small battery to active local circuit in itself.

The cruising-range of this kind is till 10 meter.

*Active

   These tags have an energy provider source in themselves. It is capable to transfer the data in far distances.  The active tags duty is send the data automatic and continually to environment by an exact cruising-range.

Read ranges are generally much greater for active tags than passive tags (approximately 100 feet versus less than 15 feet for most passive tags or from 7 meter to 250 meter for actives). Active tags are more expensive than passive tags are currently more suited for applications where long read ranges are required and tag costs are low compared to items of high value.  

You can see the summarized data about these tags in below (Table 1):

 

                                          Table 1: A compare between tags

                   *Bilateral

   There is another kind of tags in the name of bilateral tags that have ability to connect with the other tags directly without help of reader equipments.

- Readers

   Normally, this Ingredient have connection with the computerize system and work like a barcode scanner. In fact, the duty of readers is connection establishment between tags and information systems. In compare with barcode scanners, tag readers have ability to receive the data without direct view and any physical connection.

The big benefit is: a tag reader is capable to read till 200 tags in a same time parallel.

*Fixed

This kind of equipments, installed by fixed format on the buildings, input-output gates…

            *Portable

   This kind of equipments is portable which are manual and for instance it can be useful in the warehouse. Generally, this kind has gun shape which is use by hand ,are lighter and cheaper than fixed kind, Will be useful in some situation that the operator are movable and the goods are fixed ( like stock-taking operation ).    

- Antenna

   Antenna is connected to the readers and categorize in several sizes, structures by relationships distance and related productivity.

   In fact, antenna is the factor of connection between reader and tag in the RFID tracking system. This equipment which has the role of sending-receiving the defined waves for the system, must set on the correct location and site. Location and angle in set up the antenna and the quantity of that to cover the expected space determine by complex mathematical relationships and by the special experts.

   Station is set of antenna and reader. The station can read the saved data in the tags and updating with the new data.

   According to the using situation in the system for all kind of HF and UHF waves, we need to the several antennas.

           3.2.3-Coding systems (EPC)

In this section you can see the EPC position in RFID connections as below:

 The coding system in the name of EPC, transfer the data from reader to a middle ware in the name of “savant”.

These codes prepared according to global standards by global system international organization (GSI) that is responsible to preparation of barcode systems. Each RFID tag have a special separate code and you can not find any two tags with the same code in the world (all the tag manufactures must register their tags under supervision of international association).

Generally, EPC categorize in 3 classes by 64, 96 and 256 bites.

           3.2.4-Savant

   The main code will be extracted and summarized by savant then will be transferred to data bank in order to be have ability to transfer the data to the internet network.

   In fact, savant in RFID is invisible buffer software that is between RFID reader and a server (RFID frontend-IT backend) that the goods data saved by this server to give the ability of analysis the non-categorized data which is read by readers to the companies in purpose of conduct this companies to the suitable information system.

   Savants have ability to do several operations such as tag reader monitoring, manage the readers which have the problem, data mining and search in ONS.

          3.2.5-PML

   In order to have connection between read codes and data bank in the total tracking system we need to software. Physical Mark up Language (PML) is kind of computer programming language in purpose of data interchanging between ingredients in a network.

   With this definition, the duty of PML in RFID is convert the read data (that was read by reader equipments) to useful data for other active systems in management information sections.

   All the connection in RFID system such as put the EPC codes on the tags, Readers, Managing by savant, middle ware and conducts them to the networks, use the data or distribute the data on internet network by object naming services (ONS) will be done by PML.

   This software must write for each system separately and you can not find it in a software package. So the related software of each company will be written by system needs, the data under tracking and available data bank.  

         3.2.6-ONS

   Now this technology is valid which is able to manage the expected amount of data in EPC system and conform the EPC code with some information about product in the internet by searching mechanism like DNS.

   The ONS servers, providing the internet protocol address in PML servers (that the EPC data saved on that). With use of this technology, supply chains won’t have environmental limitations and data rotation will be shared automatically and mandatory for other global chains as well.

   Tag reader read the tags and the data transfer from reader to savant (Middle ware) by EPC (coding system) then savant extract the main code and summarize it. By this way, data will be transferred to the network. This data will use in all sections of electronic supply chain.

        3.2.7-Strategy

   A RFID strategy won’t be finish only by short term settlement. Maybe a short term settlement be a successfully but in long term can be useless for operators. Generally, the primal set up of each new technology can face with some resistant which is causes of some disappointing in mentioned technology supporters. An organization can protect any resistant by use of a total strategy which simplifying decision making processes in top level.

   Briefly, you can see the basic factors to set up a RFID strategy in below:

1-Determine deferent effecting of RFID technology.

2-To have a confidence on primal concepts perception, then support it by top manager of organization.

3-Prepare a top level plan from business explaining, Development strategies and other policies which is affected by that.

4-To be sure about have support from effective staffs.

     3.2.8-Standards

   In 1973, Uniform code council (UCC); created a standard. In this standard, each supplier got a prefix and with registration of that in the name of themselves, assign serial number for all their productive-presented goods by added a 4 numerical serial to their special prefix. This code introduced in the name of Unique Product Code (UPC). 3 years after this subject, UCC gave a copy from standard of product coding in the name of European Article Number (EAN) to a European institute in Brussels. This institute has been allocated defined prefixes to European producers. These companies with added 4 serial numbers to that prefix serialized their entire product in the entire world.

   EAN in the title of an international institute has been started to reception of Member Organization from several countries. Now more than 100 countering centers which are jointed with EAN are active (in the name of MO) in the entire world.

   In 2004, the international EAN jointed with UCC of united state officially. This new institute was Global Standards 1 (GS1).

   GS1 prepared a plan for the tags. This plan had some basic point such as allocated numbers to each goods of each supplier in the entire world has been unique. This number must defined by a logic that this logical process done by EPC global. In fact, EPC global designed a process which by that, each productive good from each supplier in each where of world must have an Electronic Product Code (EPC) to save it in the RF tag by corporation of a tag manufacture.

The effective factors in use of RFID standards are good manufactures, technology presenters and consulters.

3.2.9-RFID Benefits

As some RFID technology benefits, we can point to:

   Data saving more than the other systems, Increase the rate of productivity, precise accuracy, high speed, more flexibility, decrease the waste, Able to change the Tags data, able to read the tags in each angle between each objects, able to update the system with the new, able to sole identification of each product, on time tracking by satellite  and GPS1, reusability, decrease the rate of error, able to prepare several reports, able to do the automation warehousing, able to set the sensor on the tags and transfer the sensor’s data.

About identification ability it is nice to know that identification will be done in several condition like moving, station, dust environment, fog, humid, raining, shining… .

As a compare, you can see a compare table about RFID and barcode by their benefits and risks in below:

               Risks

    Benefits

     Technology

 

 

 

-high cost(Tags and readers)

 

-RF interfering probability

 

ON by continues

 

Flexibility in tags and readers locations

 

No need to have direct line seeing

 

capability to saving huge data

 

Read and write ability

 

- Ability to read some tags simultaneously

 

High speed in tags reading

 

-Ability to read the tags in the bad conditions like dust, color, vapor, muddy, Plastic, wood 

 

Infinite life length for passive tags

 

Reusability

    RFID

 

Weak on pollution and dust

 

need to have direct line seeing

 

Low capacity in data saving

 

Low cost(Tags and readers)

 

General system by good efficiency

 

Simplicity of system and defect recognition

   Barcode

Table 2: A compare benefits table

 3.2.10-RFID Risks

Despite of above RFID benefits, this technology has some limitation as below:

- High cost

Despite of Scientific and technical improvements, the price of passive tags in high quantity is between 35 to 45 Cents and in low quantity is around 80 cents. This price is 85 cents for actives tags. Unfortunately, these prices are around 5 to 10 cents upper than the economical optimum level.

- Interfere

The interfering will be happened by 2 ways as below:

-Readers interfering:

It will be happen in some times that the signals which are sent by several readers have been interfered.

-Tags interfering:

It will be happen when a lot of tags are available in a small place that some when is cause of don’t tags reading.

 - Safety

Mostly the RFID tags are steel active after exit from the shops. Based on this point, their data can be read by reader’s equipments. Therefore risk of data robbery will be increased. Additionally, most of the seller has been add the customer data like credit card number, address, name… to the tags in order to have a data base from their customers which is cause for this kind of data to be in risk situation. This risk will be high light in medical’s RFID applications.

- Standards

There are several companies which are active in manufacturing of RFID equipments. But they don’t use from an unique global standard in their productions. Based on this subject, the RFID technology’s which designed by one company will be able to use only by mentioned company for example in some cases, the available tags of a company wont be able to read by other companies which is causes of several problem in connection.

- Efficiency

Mostly, the tags have low efficiency when they use behind the liquids and metals especially in high frequencies.

- Damageability

Damage by electricity, weather condition like snow and rain…

 

4- Integration of RFID Technology in SCM

Logistics optimization challenges are characterized by a common problem: there is an objective function that needs to be minimized or maximized, and there are constraints that make it difficult to achieve that objective. In fact:

Minimize:

Total logistics costs = Inventory carrying costs + Response time costs + Lost sales costs

Constraints:

1. Inventory availability > Customer service inventory target (expressed as fill rate)

2. Response time < Customer service response time target

                                                 4.1- Automotive Supply Chain

The automotive supply chain can be structured into seven steps as below:

Figure 5: Automotive supply chain

- Suppliers

A supplier is a manufacturer of parts for the large vehicle manufacturers like GM and Ford. Suppliers can be split up into levels of tier 1, tier 2, or tier 3 depending on what kind of part they are manufacturing.

- Logistic Service Provider (LSP)

LSPs are responsible for transporting, warehousing, and picking up parts between the suppliers and the vehicle manufacturers.

- Carmaker

The final assembly of a car is built at a carmakers manufacturing plant. Suppliers deliver parts to these plants with the help of LSPs.

- Distribution

The final assembled car is distributed from the vehicle manufacturer to dealers all around the world. The vehicles are either picked up by trucks or loaded onto trains to begin their distribution. The cars are then taken to regional logistics hubs and from here they are sent to their final destination by truck, train, or ship.

- Dealer

Authorized dealers offer customers new cars of their own brand in their showrooms. The dealer’s job is to advise potential customers toward the purchase of a new car. They are to provide specific information about the different models and options, supply technical data and help out with issues like leasing and financing.

- Customer

The customer buys a new car from an authorized dealership or a used car from either a dealership or a private individual.

- Recycling

At the end of a cars life, it is important for cars to be recycled. Car recycling plants have many used parts that can be valuable for reuse. The recycled scrap metal from the rest of the car is also useful for manufacturing new cars again.

                               4.2- Importance of RFID in Automotive industry

- Customer Focus

   In order to improve the relationship with customers, it is very important for the automotive industry to identify customer needs. It is essential to know the exact configuration of the customer’s car if the vehicle manufacturer wants to provide specific services, like tire changes and tune-ups, after the sale of a car. With RFID it would be possible to store specific information on the complete lifetime of the customer’s car. With this information, vehicle manufacturers and dealers would be able to offer better maintenance and support. For example, with RFID technology, a dealership’s service center would know immediately when was the last time the car got an oil change, tire change, or if some parts needed to be replaced because of a recall.

- Demand Chain

   A problem vehicle manufacturers have is having excess stock. This excess stock is very costly for the manufacturers. By having a more streamlined supply chain, parts can be quickly moved through the chain when the parts are demanded instead of keeping extra stock. This calls for flexibility from the manufacturers as well as from the suppliers in order to adapt to demand in the short term. This type of supply chain requires efficient and reliable planning, inventory management, production, and distribution processes. To obtain this, it is crucial to have accurate inventory data. RFID can help with this inventory visibility with automatic check-ins and check-outs at warehouses or any other locations in the supply chain. In addition, RFID makes it possible to prevent mix-ups of parts in the production and distribution process with the automatic organization of shipments. These solutions will help speed up the movement of parts through the supply chain.

- Outsourcing

   With automotive manufacturers having so many key operations to worry about, logistical issues are usually outsourced to logistic service providers. Outsourcing to other companies always increases the risks of miscommunications that can cause delays within the supply chain. If manufacturers are to trust their products moving through logistical service providers, they must be able to monitor their processes and performance. RFID technology would allow the necessary visibility and would help in controlling outsourced processes. Because processes are tracked automatically, RFID technology reduces the risks of outsourcing.

- Mass Customization

   Today, auto manufacturers create cars that are differently equipped depending on what individual customers want. They challenge is to have an efficient assembly of different parts and styles on the same production line according to what the customer orders. The greater the number of options assembled on the same assembly line, the higher the risk that parts will get mixed up. This issue requires further effort to make sure parts are correctly identified and installed onto the right vehicle. RFID could easily solve this problem for identifying parts and vehicles along the production line. This technology will significantly reduce the risk of parts being mixed up.

- Total Quality Management

   In the automotive industry, high quality is absolutely mandatory to meet customer needs. Not only does it meet customer needs, it is required by law to protect the safety of passengers riding in the car. If products fail, automotive manufacturers may face expensive lawsuits. As a result, many quality control checks are applied during the production of a car. These quality control checks are expensive and take a lot of time. The automatic identification of parts using RFID can be used to streamline the process of quality control along the production line.

When errors are discovered in a product after it has been sold to customers, products need to be recalled in some cases. When a recall is implemented, it is important to act quickly and efficiently so that customers can bring their vehicles into a dealership to get the defective part replaced. These operations are very expensive. The task of addressing and locating the correct customers is costly. RFID technology can provide real time data on where affected products and parts have been used and pinpoint which customers possess the defective vehicle. Using RFID, data recorded during the production process could be linked to the customer’s contact details after the purchase of a vehicle.

- Life Cycle Compression

   Today, the life cycle of vehicle models is shorter than in the past. Vehicle manufacturers introduce more new models every year. This means there is less time to setup or change production plans and logistic processes. RFID can support the implementation of a new model as it is prepared to be manufactured.

In addition, there is another challenge for vehicle manufacturers in spare parts management and distribution. Spare parts of sold vehicles are required to be stocked for a minimum of ten years. Due to so many models with so many options, the number of parts is increasing at a considerable rate. RFID technology can provide knowledge about the configuration of sold cars and their maintenance history could be used for the judgment on the quantities of parts needed.

         4.3- some other important application in Automotive industry

- Asset management

   RFID tags can be permanently attached to capital equipment and fixed assets including pallets, RPCs, cylinders, lift trucks, tools, vehicles, trailers and equipment. Fixed position readers placed at strategic points within the facility can automatically track the movement and location of tagged assets with 100 percent accuracy. This information can be used to quickly locate expensive tools or equipment when workers need them, eliminating labor-wasting manual searches. Readers can be set to alert supervisors or sound alarms if there is an attempt to remove tagged items from an authorized area. By tracking pallets, totes and other containers with RFID, and building a record of what is stored in the container as items are loaded, users can have full visibility into inventory levels and locations. With visibility and control, manufacturers can easily locate items necessary to fill orders and fulfill rush orders without incurring undue managerial or labor time. RFID tags or labels on pallets, cylinders, RPCs and other shipping containers can be automatically read at the dock door as they leave with an outgoing shipment. By matching the reading with specific shipment information in a database, manufacturers could automatically build a record of what specific shipping containers were sent to each customer. This information could be used to document cycle times, improve returns and recoveries and aid in disputes with customers about lost or damaged assets.

- Production Tracking

   The Auto-ID Center study found manufacturers can reduce their working capital needs between 2% and 8% by taking advantage of RFID to provide greater visibility into work-in process tracking and materials inventory. By applying RFID tags to subassemblies in the production process, rather than to finished goods, manufacturers can gain accurate, real-time visibility into work-in-process in environments where bar codes are unusable. Industrial control and material handling systems can integrate with RFID readers to identify materials moving down a production line and automatically route the items to the appropriate assembly or testing station. This capability, which requires no human intervention to look up item serial numbers or other identification marks, provides the accuracy and labor savings needed to efficiently execute complex sequencing and make-to-order production.

- Production Management and Control

   RFID is applied in raw material supply, production plan management, and production process control and lean manufacture for enterprises to improve the informationization level of manufacture industry in China and drive the industrialization through informationization, and can promote improvement in production efficiency and management efficiency. The specific areas to be applied include automobile manufacture, home appliance production and textile and clothing

e-Kanban

   Toyota’s eKanban system with suppliers has cards with barcodes travel with parts. Unlike traditional kanbans, the cards are used only once, and the pull signal is issued electronically by scanning the barcode before destroying the card. On the other end, this triggers the release of a new card. But while barcodes are cheap enough to be on onetime use cards, the same cannot be said of RFID tags. Since the kanban system is used with returnable containers, another option is to attach the RFID tags to the containers rather than the cards. Unlike supplier eKanbans, kanbans used in-house between two production lines still circulate many times, and, in this case, RFID tags can be attached to the cards. In both cases, the value of using the technology needs to be thought through.

At a work station, where a bin of parts is consumed, the rule is that the kanban must be pulled by the operator as he or she takes out the first part. Instilling in the work force the discipline of following this rule on every bin, every shift of every day is not a small endeavor, and this raises the question of whether it could be automated using RFID.

If the bins are coming down a gravity flow rack towards the work station, the pull signal needs to be issued as soon as the following two conditions are met:

1. The bin has reached the picking end of the rack. A proximity reader mounted at the end of the rack can detect the arrival of the bin’s RFID tag within its range.

2. The operator has pulled the first part. The bin can be covered with a “light curtain,” broken when the operator reaches into the bin and restored when the operator’s hand is completely out.

With the proper logic implemented in software, it can trigger electronic pull signals at the right time without the operator having to take any action specifically for it to happen.

Figure 6: Detecting first part pick from a bin

- Inventory monitoring and asset visibility - smart shelves

   In a replenishment-based system, whenever the total inventory at a warehouse or distribution centre drops below a certain level, the RFID-enabled system could place an automatic order. RFID-tagged products will allow stores to track the location and count of inventories in real time. This will better monitor demand for certain products and place orders to prevent an out-of-stock situation.

- Reduced bullwhip effect

   There are several possibilities to reduce this problem. One way is to speed up the whole supply chain. Research has shown that cutting the time-to-delivery by half will decrease the supply chain fluctuations by up to 80 percent Further, the supply chain process will become more efficient as inventory costs decline, for example.

Another approach is to provide all participants in the supply chain with more accurate and current data. By focusing on the customer demand and using the point of sale (POS) data throughout the supply chain, vendors and manufacturers can rely on solid numbers. The gathering and propagation of this data is also a very crucial point and should be taken into account seriously.

There are a number of technologies that can help in meeting theses requirements. The most prominent technology however is RFID.

Five approaches that may help businesses to achieve this goal:

1. Improve forecast accuracy

2. Reduce cycle times

3. Lower purchase order/setup costs

4. Improve inventory visibility

5. Lower inventory carrying costs

- Lead-time reduction

    Conventional systems limit tracking of items while being transported. RFID systems give a total visibility of product movement in the supply chain. This may help to make early decisions about inventory control in case there is any interruption in the supply. It partially or completely eliminates time and effort required for counting while loading/unloading the items. This results into reduction of total lead-time for arrival of an order. Pharmaceutical industry and perishable product industry could use RFID systems for reducing lead times that will help to increase the total useful shelf-life of items.

- Improves sort/pick rate

   In a warehouse, sorting/picking activity is more time consuming and subjected to errors. For example, for issuing of items from a store, a person has to find out whether the item is available in store or not by physically moving to the location. Items issued should be kept in a particular position (bar-code upward) in a pallet for scanning/billing purposes. RFID systems ease the sorting and picking operations, as it captures real time, accurate information about product availability in host computer database without physical movement.

- Issuing policies (FIFO/LIFO)

   RFID systems give exact count and location of items. This will help to follow a certain issuing policy for items as per the requirements. For example, the 'First-in-first out' (FIFO) policy for items such as vegetables and bread or last-in-first-out (LIFO) for blood banks Using RFID technology for data collection and some appropriate inventory algorithms for replenishment decisions, many warehousing processes such as receiving, picking and ordering can be automated. Various enterprise applications, for example

ERP packages can be configured and linked to RFID technology for direct and on-line collection of data. It could be possible to combine RFID and bar-coding technology for tracking of items to take competitive advantages of both the technologies.

- Shipping & Receiving

   The same tags used to identify work-in-process or finished goods inventory could also trigger automated shipment tracking applications. Items, cases or pallets with RFID tags could be read as they are assembled into a complete customer order or shipment. The individual readings could be used to automatically produce a shipment manifest, which could be printed in a document, recorded automatically in the shipping system, encoded in an RFID tag, printed in a 2D bar code on the shipping label, or any combination. For example the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) data structure, which is commonly used in bar codes on shipping labels, could be encoded into RFID to facilitate automated handling. The new RFID application could be very effectively integrated into existing business processes because it takes advantage of data structures that are already supported in enterprise databases and software applications. Manifest information encoded in an RFID tag could be read by the receiving organization to simplify the receiving process and to satisfy requirements like those for advance shipping notices (ASN), so there would not be processing delays if the physical shipment arrived before the electronic data interchange (EDI) transmission with the ASN information. Having complete shipment data available in an RFID tag that can be read instantly without manual intervention is very valuable for cross dock and high-volume distribution environments. Incoming shipments can be automatically queried for specific containers. If a sought-after item was present, it could be quickly located and selected.

- Returns & Recall Management

   Companies could supplement the basic shipment identification information by writing the specific customer and time of shipment to the tag immediately prior to distribution.

Producing and recording this information would provide several benefits. In the event of a recall, companies could trace specific shipments to specific customers, which would enable a highly targeted notification and return operation and avoid a costly general recall. For general returns, companies could verify that the customer returning merchandise is actually the customer who received it, which would deter diversion, counterfeiting and other forms of return fraud.

- Service and Warranty Authorizations

   Authenticating the product and customer with proprietary information could also be used to authorize warranty and service work. Upon completion of repairs or service, a record of the activity performed could be encoded on the tag to provide a complete maintenance history that travels with the item. If future repairs or service are required, a technician could access the item’s complete maintenance and configuration information without accessing a database simply by reading the tag. This application ensures workers have necessary information if no database access is available, and eliminates the need and expense of making phone calls or wireless data inquiries to access records.

                                   

                                          4.4- Apply RFID in Automotive Industry

   A critical decision for automotive manufacturers is picking the type of RFID technology that the company will use. They will need to take into account three different factors in their decision making:

- The needs of their own company,

- The needs of their suppliers and customers,

- The needs of the automotive industry as a whole.

 A smart choice is to select the technology that has the greatest adoption potential in the industry. This will encourage an overall industry standard and also allow lower prices in RFID hardware and software.

                                                           4.4.1- Standards, Software and Middleware that can be applied to the supply chain

- Standardà Electronic Product Code (EPC)

   With the EPC standard, an automotive manufacturer would be able to keep track of each product moving through the supply chain with a unique identification code. The EPC consists of an eight-bit header and three sets of data: EPC Manager, object class, and a serial number. The header is used to identify the EPC version number. The EPC manager set of data is used to identify the manufacturer or supplier of the product. Object class identifies the category of the product. The serial number identifies the specific product item.

- Middleware à Savant Enterprise Software

   One challenge that manufacturers have is taking all product IDs retrieved by the readers and connecting it to the companies main database. This is where middleware comes into play. Savant Enterprise Software is a type of middleware meant to act as the central nervous system connecting readers to a company wide network. In a supply chain, RFID readers in trucks, cargo planes, distribution centers, manufacturing plants, and dealerships will all be running their own Savant software. The Savant on each of these readers will pass information from the tags to other Savants in the company network. For example, a Savant at the shipping dock may inform another Savant located the automotive manufacturer that a shipment is coming in at a particular date and time. The Savant performs many major tasks supporting the network of readers with, reader coordination, data forwarding, data storage, and task management.

- Service Software à Object Name Service (ONS)

   When a Savant retrieves and EPC from a product, additional information is needed of that product. This information can be located in a couple different places, either in the automotive manufacturers own database or located in another suppliers database. In order for quick search and retrieval of this information, software like ONS must be installed. When a reader reads a tag, the EPC is transferred from the Savant to the ONS. The ONS will then locate the appropriate server containing the information for that specific EPC. The information is then relayed back to the Savant and in turn the Savant transfers it to any application in need of the information of that product.

                                   4.5- Challenges for RFID in SCM

   Despite all the mentioned advantages, there are some challenges that have to be faced when integrating RFID technology into supply chain management. The infrastructure costs seem to be a major burden for many companies to adopt RFID technology. The return on investment (ROI) has to be considered. However, it is not necessarily easy to quantify the benefits that emerge with the use of RFID technology. On the one hand side, there are direct measures such as reduced labor costs, more efficient production, reduced inventory costs and quicker time-to-market. On the other hand, benefits like higher quality information and visibility of processes are hard to measure. But for most businesses, the ROI is fairly low.

Typically, a supply chain involves more than one company; hence the distribution of infrastructure costs due to RFID is another big issue. Retailers have a potentially high interest in the infrastructure whereas suppliers might not be as convinced. Unless the retailer accepts this state, the supplier might need to be forced to comply shipping all products with RFID tags. This strategy is known as “slap and ship” and has been successfully applied by Wal-Mart in the United States. Another point that might keep retailers from adopting this technology is the fact that they have to expose very sensitive business data including POS and inventory levels. Hence there is a high need for confidentiality. Standardization in the data exchange between participants in the supply chain is also a big pain point that various organizations have been dealing with in the past years.

5-Current RFID Systems in Automotive Industry

The automotive industry currently represents 46 percent of the RFID market. In addition, car manufacturers spend about 30 times as much as retailers on RFID technology.

- Nissan (Renault-Nissan)

   Nissan North America is implementing an active RFID-based Real-Time Locating System to help track incoming automotive parts and new vehicles coming right off the assembly line at its factory in Canton, Mississippi. WhereNet designed the RFID technology to assist Nissan in streamlining vehicle production and improve processes within the factory.

The RFID system will use 1,500 active RFID WhereTag transmitter tags that will be temporarily attached to new vehicles as they come off the assembly line. In addition, 700 WhereTag transmitters will be affixed to the tops of Nissan’s supplier trailers. These tags operate at a frequency of 2.4 GHz and will periodically emit the unique ID numbers that are encoded within it.

These tags are based on the ISO 24730 RTLS standard. The system will also include 120 WherePort exciters that are positioned between gates and at key points throughout the manufacturing plant to activate the tags when they pass through these gates and key points. Also, 80 wireless WhereLAN access points that are integrated with Wi-Fi technology from Cisco Systems, will be placed around the plant to receive signals transmitted by the tags.

Nissan will use Where Net’s Vehicle Tracking and Management System (VTMS) software to track the location of vehicles. The automaker will use VTMS to track and manage pre-assembly, assembly and post-assembly operations. This will include test and inspection processes, repairs done to the cars to ensure quality, and storage and shipping processes.

Nissan plant workers will use handheld scanners to read the tags hanging from the cars rear-view mirrors. Every tag will have a unique ID number that will be associated with the car’s VIN. Employees will scan the tag and input the processes that have been done and the system will upload that information to the VTMS. As the car moves farther down the assembly line, other employees will be able to determine which tasks have already been performed and what still needs to be done.

Nissan will use Where Net’s Where Soft Yard Management System (YMS) to track, schedule and coordinate trailer traffic in the trailer yard. Where Port exciters will be placed at the entrance gate and readers will read the RFID tags on top of the trailers. Each tag will have information including the supplier’s name and advance shipping notice data.

Also, a time and date stamped will be recorded as the trailer passes through the entrance gate. This system decreases the time required to move trailers into the trailer yard at the automotive plant.

Once inside the lot, drivers park the trailers while RLTS track each trailer’s location. When it is time to move a trailer to an unloading dock, workers on tractors with touch screens will be able to find out which trailer to pull and where it is located. It will then give instructions to the right unloading dock. This system will significantly streamline the process of parts moving into the manufacturing plant and through the assembly line.

- Audi

   Adding to its already existing RFID system, German automaker Audi is incorporating semi-passive tags able to withstand high temperatures and painting into the assembly process for its Audi TT sports cars.

Audi is using an OIS-P RFID system from Identical Solutions at its manufacturing plant in Germany. This system allows the plant to communicate assembly instructions and other information more accurately to robots located around the plant. Audi will be using 6000 OIS-P semi-passive tags around its plants. The tags operate in the 2.45 GHz range and use a proprietary air-interface protocol. These tags have a communication range up to 10 meters and are heat resistant up to 235 degrees Celsius. The battery is used for storing the memory in the tag, but the data transmission is passive. Each tag is reusable and is encoded with a unique ID number associated with the chassis it is on. It also contains information regarding the chassis’s intended color and other assembly information.

The tag is encased in a bracket and affixed to the side of a skid carrying the chassis down the assembly line. Fixed readers located alongside the assembly line scan the tags for the needed data. This information is then passed into programmable logic controllers which inform the robots on what needs to be done as they perform different manufacturing and assembly operations.

These RFID tags are designed to make sure the correct assembly operations occurs at the right time and to the right chassis. Also, the tags help control the flow of the chassis down the production line and allow the production line to be very flexible.

- Hyundai

   Hyundai will start using RFID technology to track auto parts as they move through their supply chain. The implementation will use passive UHF Class 1 Gen 2 UHF tags from UBM Raflatac. They will employ this technology in two phases. In the first phase, Hyundai will implement 130,000 UPM Raflatac DogBone UHF RFID tags. These tags will be affixed to packaging cases of automotive parts from five suppliers. The tagged boxes will then be shipped to Hyundai’s factory in Alabama. In the second phase, Hyundai will use 20 million UPM Raflatac RFID tags to track all boxes and containers of parts moving through its supply chain.

The RFID tags will help Hyundai track parts at different parts in the supply chain including: delivery to distribution centers, repacking and outbound shipments, and final delivery to the manufacturing plant. By using this technology, Hyundai will be able to decrease the time parts moves through its supply chain and allow real time visibility of its parts in the supply chain.

- Ford

   Ford’s manufacturing facility in Mexico produces over 300,000 vehicles a year, with parts supplied with just-in-time techniques. Ford will be using RFID technology for accurate and efficient routing and identification of vehicles through automated production processes.

In the manufacturing plant, forty antennas are installed around the facility: 25 in the body production area, 12 in the painting area and 3 in the final assembly area. As the vehicle is moved along the assembly line, the readers reference the data on the RFID tags which contain information about the specific operation that needs to be done at specific assembly stations.

- Toyota

   Toyota installed an automatic tracking system in its South Africa manufacturing plant by implementing RFID technology with the help from Escort Memory Systems. With this RFID solution in place, Toyota will be able to track vehicles in different departments through its distribution channels.

In the manufacturing plant, 14 EMS HMS820 Passive Reader/Writers, one MM80 MicroMux modules, and 500 EMS HMS150HT tags were installed. These RFID tags are mounted onto shop dollies and hangers. This allows Toyota to track vehicles at any point during the production process as well as track maintenance records of the vehicles. This RFID solution helped Toyota save a significant amount of money by reducing a lot of downtime.

6- Conclusion:

   Cost reduction, fast data transferring, join to the new supply and production processing, with risk consideration shown as this paper.

Nowadays, with developing in technologies and bi in daily competitive space, it’s so important to have reliable and on-time data with low cost for cost reduction in production and services.

For sure, the future will be for some kind of companies which has been adopted for new competitive situation by innovation on advance technologies before ; and its clear that they will faced up to the new experience risks.

Using the RFID technology as new, is necessary and base of this needs, the experience of all the countries can be share for risk reduction as well.

Finally, the role of Automotives industries as leader in import the new technologies will be important as always.

 

 

7-REFERENCES:

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[3]. Inmon, W. H., Imhoff, C., and Sousa, R. Corporate Information Factory, 2nd Edition, Wiley, New York, 2001.

 [4]. Negash, S. “Business Intelligence,” Communications of the Association for Information Systems (13), 2004, pp. 177-195.

[5]. Teradata. “Teradata Solutions for Supply Chain Intelligence,” 2002. Retrieved September 13, 2003, from://www.teradatalibrary. com/ pdf/eb3065.pdf .

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[7]. Bailor, C.: For CRM, ERP, and SCM, SAP Leads the Way, destinationCRM, URL:

http://www.destinationcrm.com/articles/default.asp?ArticleID=6162, July 2006

[8]. Hunt, V.D., Puglia, A., Puglia, M.: RFID-A Guide to Radio Frequency Identification, Wiley-Interscience, 2007

[9]. Ananth, Dehoratius, Ton: Execution: The Missing Link in Retail Operations, California Management Review, Vol 43, 2001

[10]. Roberti, M.: Case Study: Wal-Mart's Race for RFID, eWeek, September 15th, 2003

[11]. Schmitt, Patrick. "Potentials for RFID in the Automotive Aftermarket." An Adoption Strategy for an Open RFID Standard 4-7. 30 May 2007

<http://www.im.ethz.ch/publications/Adoption_Strategy_Automotive.pdf>.

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<http://www.im.ethz.ch/publications/Adoption_Strategy_Automotive.pdf>

[13]. Angeles, Rebecca. "RFID Technologies: Supply-Chain Applications and Implementation issues." Emerging Technologies: RFID (2005) 54-56. 31 May 2007

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[16]. Bacheldor, Beth. "Audi Uses Semi-Passive Tags to Make TTs." RFID Journal 1 June 2007 <http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleprint/3002/-1/1/>.

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تاریخ ارسال: یکشنبه 15 شهریور 1388 ساعت 08:22 | نویسنده: محمد روهینا | چاپ مطلب
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