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RFID localization solution at Continental

posted 16 Apr 2012, 05:59 by PHI DATA   [ updated 18 May 2012, 07:05 ]

German tire manufacturer boosts production with 15% thanks to Wi-Fi-based localization solution of AeroScout.

Continental Sarreguemines has signed a contract with PHI DATA, provider of solutions for automatic identification and localization. The French department of the German tire manufacturer appeals to PHI DATA for the automation of the inventory management and a part of the production process. Therefore PHI DATA will implement a WiFi-based localization system. 1800 WiFi-tags will be attached to the carriers used for the transport of tire components and materials to the right station. This way, Continental can assure every carrier arrives at the right time at the right machine so delays and errors will be reduced and daily throughput increases.

Continental Sarreguemines produces and distributes 33.000 tires on a daily basis. As the rubber needs to be processed within very precise timeframes, the rubber and the material needs to be brought as soon as possible to the specific machines. Until recently, the large carriers used for the transport were only marked with a number. This often caused trouble finding the carriers on time, resulting in a lot of time and material waste.

“Continental already implemented an AeroScout localization system in one of its factories in the US. The American colleagues were so enthusiastic about the system that we decided to use it in Sarreguemines as well. Main difficulty: the challenging environmental circumstances. In Sarreguemines, the plant is an collection a old buildings, that have been rebuilt during the years, there are a lot of machines, so a lot of steel, etc. That makes the implementation quite difficult. When we were looking for a partner with some relevant experience, and who was flexible enough to work in phases, PHI DATA revealed to be the best choice,” says François Gérard, Director France at Continental in Sarreguemines.      

PHI DATA is responsible for the delivery and implementation of the AeroScout system and the integration with the Cisco network. Now the employees can check from their board computer where a carrier is located. “We are confident that this project will result in a high ROI, and that this technology will help us to boost the production from 33.000 to 37.000 tires per day”, says Christian Matejicek, Responsible for IT at Continental in Sarreguemines.

The project is going through its second phase for the moment. “In the first phase 500 carriers were equipped with a WiFi-tag. After the evaluation, we concluded that everything was precise enough, and after expanding the wireless Cisco network to the other parts of the factory, they implemented another 700 extra tags. This is one of the largest projects in its kind in the industrial sector in Europe. And the story is not over yet: we recently started a third phase, during which we will foresee 600 more carriers of tags”, says Wim Verduyn, Senior Key Account Manager at PHI DATA.      

Continental France