IntegRFID – Integrated planning of RFID-based material flow and production systems

The aim of the research project IntegRFID is to develop a method for a generic procedure for the integration of a planning process for RFID systems into the processes of devising material flow and production systems. An important part, on which the analyses in this project focus on, is the interaction between the named systems.

Additionally, radio waves simulations are used to investigate the potentials of RFID applications in exemplary production and logistic settings and the insights gained by these simulations analysed. The developed process should lead to an increase in of the process reliability of RFID-based material flow and production systems as well as avoiding costs for re-planning already completed systems.

 

Initial Situation

During the application of Radio Frequency Identification systems, RFID-readers and transponders interact with the help of radio waves. Hereby, a rapid and contactless exchange of information between reader and transponder is possible. A line of sight between the two components is not required. An exemplary use of RFID technology in logistics is to identify and track goods in their participation in the material flow.

However, destructive interference, resulting from radio waves overlapping due to reflection on metallic objects or the usage of multiple RFID-Systems, can have a negative impact on the reading process, if these interferences result in areas in which transponders should but cannot be detected.

To secure the functioning of RFID-Systems and the dependent process efficiency and stability of a material flow and production system, RFID-Systems have to be thoroughly planned and integrated into these environments. However, there are currently no planning procedures, which help with this task. Instead, feasibility studies are conducted with existing production and logistic systems, only resulting in reliable results with a high input of time, costs and cumbersome system changes.

Project aims

The aim of the project IntegRFID is the development of a method for a generic planning procedure, which integrates the planning of RFID-systems (reader, antennas, transponder, …) into a universal factory planning process. The focus of the project lies in the area of planning material flow and production systems. The single steps of the developed procedure have to be defined in the way that they can be generally applicable in different factory system scenarios, while also giving clear instructions and setting defined boundary conditions for the intended planer.

Furthermore, to verify the usability of RFID-Systems and the practical realisation of concepts for such systems, a process using wave simulations to analyse the interactions of RFID-systems between each other and with the production and logistic system will be developed. The visualisation of the radio wave interactions within the simulation should help to evaluate these and to adapt the planned systems accordingly. For example, erasure of waves in reading areas should be detected and either the RFID system or the logistics process adapted so that the areas of destructive interferences disappear or have no effect on the reading process.

The wave simulation and its preparation and post-processing are to be integrated into the various phases of factory planning.

Procedure

The research project starts with the first work package (WP1), the determination of requirements for RFID systems and for the simulation of radio waves. At the same time, current areas of application and planning procedures for RFID, material flow and production systems will be worked out from the literature .

While the steps of factory planning in WP2 are extended and modified by the steps of RFID system planning, a cross-applicable modelling language of the individual steps between material flow and production system planning must be developed (WP3). In addition, requirements and steps for a procedure, which allows the transfer of data from 3D-modelled factory systems into a wave simulation, are defined.

In the fourth work package, a method for simulating the radio wave properties of RFID systems in a factory environment is developed and implemented. In the final work package 5, an evaluation of the integrated planning method is to be carried out by implementing the developed planning procedure within an application scenario. With the help of this, conclusions on the effectiveness can be drawn and a transferability of the integrated planning procedure to any application case shown.

Project partners

Fraunhofer IGCV, Augsburg

 

Professur für Höchstfrequenztechnik, TUM, München

Funding

This Project ist funded by the German Research Foundation with the projectnumber 426221637.

 

Contact Person

Christian Looschen, M.Sc.