DRIVING SUCCESS FOR AN AUTO PARTS LEADER
RFID makes car part manufacturing and assembly a snap for REHAU AG
As a leading manufacturer of premium quality plastic auto parts, REHAU AG supplies key components, including bumpers and side member covers, to high end companies like Mercedes-Benz.
Manufacturing auto parts is a multi-step production process that includes injection molding, painting, assembly and shipping. Maintaining tight quality control of all aspects of production is essential, to ensure that REHAU AG avoids sending inaccurate or flawed parts to customers. In addition, conventional production processes only permit mass customization, instead of the individually prepared parts premium customers now favor. Could RFID technology help REHAU AG optimize its supply chain and motor past the competition?
REHAU AG implemented a comprehensive RFID-based production and logistics system, including ShortDipole™ RFID tags coupled with the complete solution, as well as Simatic RF600 readers and transponders from Siemens that are designed for harsh industrial environments. RFID tags, which are applied to parts after they have been moulded, provide detailed information, including an individual ID number for each item; barcode; and technical data such as the equipment used to prepare the part, paint specifications from among extensive selection color variants available and other information.
Workers use the wireless readers to perform tag reads at every workstation, ensuring that parts are prepared accurately to brand owner specifications. Any errors that are identified can be quickly and cost-effectively traced back before parts are shipped, protecting the bottom line while preserving customer satisfaction.
The new RFID system brings transparency and accuracy to all processes, allowing the company to:
- Identify, customize, track and trace every single part in its inventory
- Streamline the production and assembly of bumpers for vehicles, which include 200 different components
- Ensure quality control throughout production and shipping processes
Access real-time production data in its ERP system, improving corporate decision making For REHAU AG, it’s clear that RFID is turbo-charging its business. The company is accustomed to looking at its competitors through the rear view mirror.