Cooking chamber, casing, cabling, insulation and lighting – oven manufacturing at V-Zug involves numerous individual steps. In addition to the core components, customers are also able to freely configure comfort levels, operating elements, colours and accessories. To ensure smooth and above all error-free production despite this level of customization, the Swiss company uses RFID technology and operating elements from the Siemens portfolio. The decision to use RFID technology was an easy one. The solution supports web-based management, meaning that users can access the devices in the plant via IP address using a browser without additional software. In addition, transponders offer more memory storage than bar codes. “Big Data is the keyword and this will not be the last project of this type at V-Zug. Traceability helps us to guarantee the high quality of our products, to optimize processes, and to meet legal requirements,” explains Fabian Anderhub, Process Analyst at V-Zug.
Every step can be traced
For example, the fabrication number of the cooking chamber and other characteristic data such as the material number, customer job number and target location within the plant are written to the workpiece carrier transponder using the Simatic RF685R read/write device. Visualization is via a Simatic IPC477E panel PC. Since the oven has to “give up” its original carrier after this station, for subsequent steps a transponder is located directly on the side panel of the oven.
Reliable quality control
High frequency and ultra high frequency (UHF) readers from the Simatic RF200 and RF600 ranges are used in the plant, which read the transponders throughout the manufacturing process and forward the data. With ultra high frequency, data can be acquired at high speed at a range of up to eight meters – a significant advantage in cases like this where the product is moving. Once the oven is finally assembled, it is subject to strict safety and functional tests. This data is also forwarded to the transponders. If the oven is faulty, it is sent immediately for repair.