Genius as a hummingbird beak!
smartSCANNDY on duty © Carl-Stahl GmbH
It is easy for the hummingbird to get to the sweet, delicious nectar out of the flowers. Not as sweet but definitely needed, concerning the labeling of industrial facilities are RFID transponder in every security related structural element. For security matters they are often screwed deep into the metal and shielded so well that they cannot be read. PANMOBIL developed a so called reading head, inspired by the hummingbird, to get to the RFID nectar.
The use of RFID transponders provides a reliable service to the Asset Management. A clear barcode labeling of security relevant parts is, concerning the
operational environment, often not an option. It would not last within the daily production shift. This often costs high economic losses because products cannot be assigned back to the labels again. That is the reason why some component manufacturers produce RFID transponders which are inserted into the metal to avoid damages and other losses. With this technique it is also possible to label small parts for their identification, like motor pistons and not only big parts like load hooks, traverses or railroad wheels. A quality inspector cannot only read the transponder with an RFID Scanner but also check the condition, the registration and control the part which needs special attention.
Security often cannot co-exist with accessibility
The metal protects the transponder within the harsh production routine error-free but at the same time the RFID Scanner is not able to receive the radio waves from the transponder. This is a huge problem for the control service technician. For example as operated by Carl-Stahl GmbH.
The Asset Management is a significant part within industrial companies
In general, every manufacturing material which is security related underlies the industrial safety regulations. Because of this they need to be checked in a frequent inspection procedure prescribed by law. The Carl-Stahl GmbH checks and controls the manufacturing materials and components by a checklist. It is similar to the MOT when getting your car approved. They test for example slinging chains, fall protection devices, load suspension devices and crane systems with their “Integrated Services”, independent of the manufacturer. If parts are damaged then it is not a problem for the Carl-Stahl GmbH to replace them.
“The explicit identification concerning the manufacturing parts is only reliable with the RFID transponder technique” says Lars-Christopher Thorn, product manager of Carl-Stahl GmbH. “It is also very important for us to see what happened to all the parts during the last couple of years, next to all the data like the type, size and construction year of course. It tells us not only when we checked it the last time but also what was broken before and what we fixed. In comparison how time-consuming it was before, the transponder now makes it a lot easier and faster to collect all the needed data. Now we only have to scan it instead of writing it down.”
The Carl-Stahl GmbH developed a transponder code-system for the quality examination which matches costumers and their manufacturing parts due to the stored information on the transponder itself. The information will be transmitted by a mobile reader via Bluetooth to the employees tablet PC where a particular developed SAP software processes and documents all the data with an electronic checklist. The costumer will receive a digital certificate which includes the hazard class and the safety evaluations. As result, companies can rely on their components to function error-free every time.
Straight contact to the RFID transponder
The still existing problem: Because of the metal shielding the reader and the pressed-in transponder, the RFID scanner had to get into close contact to enable a perfect reading. The solution by the Cologne AutoID experts from PANMOBIL was as follows: a special RFID reading head which enables the close contact to the transponder.
“We got inspired by the hummingbird that reaches the flower nectar with its beak” says Peter Schmidt, executive director from advanced PANMOBIL systems. “The user will be able to get in contact with the transponder because of the long, pointy and flexible reading head.”
No matter if it has to detect tiny Mini-transponders or big, flat RFID tags the scanner beak finds a way to work reliable. The reason is the dual antenna technology. The “birds body “based on PANMOBILs smartSCANNDY, a professional mobile barcode/ RFID data collecting device. The hummingbird device can read any common barcode/ RFID data by keystroke. Finally it will transmit all the information via Bluetooth, WIFI, USB, FTP or e-mail to the desired ERP-system. No installation needed!
Scout function for immediate data transmission
Many RFID data collection devices interchange data with existing ERP systems. The communication needs to have Middleware to be installed in a long-winding
process. To avoid the process PANMOBIL devices already include a preinstalled Middelware software, called EMMware with SCOUTtechnology. This technology handles the communication between the device and the ERP system. Companies will save time and costs because there is no manual installation required. This technique meets perfectly the requirements of the Carl-Stahl GmbH which requested a stable, fast and easy transmission of their data.
“The PANMOBIL scanner and the hummingbird beak with its Scout technology empowers the solution to a very effective system which is a significant part of our Asset Management” enthuses Product Manager Thorn. “Caused by the hummingbirds beak used in Asset Management we are as successful as the hummingbird by collecting nectar.”