UNO FORM kitchens are an individually produced order
At UNO FORM kitchens are produced only to order. When an order is sent to production, it is customised to the size ordered and painted in the chosen colour. It is of course important that each front can always be identified to the order it was produced for.
Guess a kitchen panel
The challenge at UNO FORM was that they spent too much time measuring and assessing individual fronts if they were placed in the wrong place after painting. Typically, product identification is done by labels, but when painting is part of the production, labels cannot be used as they are removed before painting. Without labels, identifying products quickly becomes a daily challenge.
RFID technology allows an RFID chip to be attached or embedded in the product, and then read by an RFID reader, no matter how much paint or varnish gets over the chip. So they contacted Tecsys, who provides RFID solutions and has experience with both barcodes and handheld terminals.
The solution was to embed an RFID chip in each front as soon as it was produced for an order. The unique RFID chip is paired with the front label via barcode, so the RFID chip can always recreate the label when visible identification is needed.
Anders Ellitsgaard, system and operations consultant at UNO FORM, explains the process: "The RFID chip is read during the production process where time stamps and the route the goods take through the production hall are recorded. All this helps to eliminate errors, minimise time and improve the quality of the kitchens delivered. A side benefit has been that operations managers can now monitor the progress of each RFID-chipped item through reports, ensuring that it is finished on time.
The kitchen element knows its own barcode
The RFID chip in the kitchen unit is also used to print labels when a mounting label is required or if the label has been damaged.
The employee simply reads the RFID chip with his handheld terminal and from the handheld terminal app, 'Print label' can be selected and a label is sent for printing. This is done using another standard Tecsys application called Label Print Server.
Time savings and better overview
Staff workflow has improved as it has become more flexible. The operations manager also has a completely new overview of the individual items and can quickly answer how far each item is in production.
Anders Ellitsgaard: "I would like to recommend others to use RFID for product identification. This provides high delivery reliability and new opportunities to optimise production. It has been a good process with Tecsys, as they have a good understanding of the everyday life of a manufacturing company."