Code Readers can read 2D codes or bar codes and are available in installed or hand-held models.
Purpose and Effectiveness of Auto-ID Device Implementation
The main purpose of introducing an AUTO-ID is to improve productivity at the production site by "controlling items and information in one source" and "uniting items with their information". There are a number of issues to be dealt with to improve productivity, including production yield, lead time, flexibility in the production management and quality assurance etc. There is also the need to deal with environmental issues and to follow relevant laws or regulations. The RFID system controls "items and information in one source" by writing information to RF tags, and barcodes/2 dimensional code systems unites "information with an item" by marking data directly onto components or products. It helps to solve a variety of different problems, leading to improvement in productivity.
Prevent human error in the manufacturing process
Realize history management of the manufacturing process by writing processing history/inspection data to the RF tag.
Perform an optimal production and trace a defective product by recording manufacturing conditions, production lot number, inspection data of an individual product.
Create an electronic Kanban system by using Kanban reader and Kanban tags.
Introduce an individual management for components and products by marking history directly on them.
Shorten Lead Time/Enhance Yield/Improve Flexibility
Save time by reading the product data within the RF tag and then automatically changing processes to match the information.
By designing the production line in a modular manner, functions can be altered by adding or changing the modules.
Improve the efficiency of repair processes by writing inspection information (simple information about failure) in the RF tag.
Introduce a clean and paperless conditions to eliminate an yield reduction factor.
Cost Reduction/Inventory Reduction
Reduce costs from loss and error due to human error (misreading information, errors in copying etc).
Cater for the various needs of the product by placing classification data on the RF tag.
Use of RF tags for part supply system.
Reduction of Line Numbers/Facility Management/Investment Reduction
Lines can be used most efficiently by creating multi-product lines that can switch between processes based on quality information.
By classifying information, there can be a realization of load reduction for the host and fast start-up for the line (simplification of tracking processing, error processing, interrupted processing etc.).
Maintenance needs can be anticipated through the management of information such as the number of items remaining and processing history.
The quality of facilities can be improved by storing facility information and maintenance history on RF tags.
Stop paper documentation by using the memory of RF tags for information management.
Re-writable tags can be used, which means that the system can be implemented with a minimum of waste.
An RFID system can be added modularly, function by function, to the current system, which means that past investments can still be utilized effectively.
Labels and ink usage is reduced since labels are applied by direct marking, using a laser marker.
By writing quality information to RF tags, quality can be managed for products on an individual basis.
Quality history can be automatically managed without the need to implement an expensive new system.
By automating as much as possible with an RFID system, the cost of labor, materials and money required for HACCP and GMP compliance can be reduced to a minimum.
Historical information can be managed through direct marking of products.
*HACCP: Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
*GMP: Good Manufacturing Practice
RFID that is built-in Equipment/Systems
Designing work is simplified by using functional modules that are simple and independent.
Design can be made on a functional module basis.
There are no wires between modules, making it easy to assmble/disassemble on site.
Costs can be reduced through the standardization/cooperation of functional modules.
The simplification of processing leads to a reduction in the need for debugging.
Partial adjustments to individual modules is also possible, so assembly and adjustment can be carried out together, which leads to more efficient on-site work and a reduction in man-hours.
Important Notes for Implementation
Points for Success!
Don't Implement Just for the Sake of Having an RFID System
RFID is "a tool for solving problems". The purpose isn't to "implement RFID" but to "solve problems".
It is important to clarify problems that you expect RFID to solve. If they cannot be found, it is unlikely that the implementation will be effective. That is why it is so important to understand what is happening on site.
Effectively Use the RFID and Barcodes Together
The automation process can be performed with the RFID, but it is best to use the "visible barcodes" in human involved processes.
Barcodes and 2 dimensional codes are ascerained information. That is why they are so good for the management of individual parts and products. However, when treated as a group, the Combination of components will change each time.
The Multi Access (Anti Collision) Function is not always perfect
One of the attractions of the RFID, the "Multi Access Function (a function which allows access to multiple tags that are in front of the antenna)" can result in reading errors depending on the environment and the quality of the items in question.
To make best use of the multi access function, the number of items should be checked in advance so that it is possible to determine as a criteria whether there may be any miss-reading.
1. Evaluation of Problems
If the loss cost on site is evaluated and understood, at least the investment cost can be estimated. Further, by investigating how to achieve a little extra from operations, it is possible to make the investment even more effective.
First, it is important to make sure that you fully understand any problems occurring on site.
2. Investigating Management Information
It is important to clearly define which information should be contained in the tag and which should be managed by the host. Basically, it is most effective as long as the information that is necessary in real time for on-site processing is contained in the tag.
Since tags are subject to malfunction, a back-up data should be held in a batch on the host in case of emergency.
3. Selecting Optimum Methods and Understaning the Conditions
It is important to understand the application and the operating conditions and select the optimal system and model for that conditions.
It is very important to understand the operating conditions prior to installation and take into account such factors as the influence of metals, the influence of noise and reflectiveness, interference between antennas, and the influence of radio signals etc.
4. Prioritize Reliability over Cost for RF Tags
The ability to withstand the environment will differ depending on the RF tag. For FA, by selecting an RF tag model purely on the basis of cost, the chances of failed implementation will be high.
Less reliable RFID by which oil or heat may cause miss-reading and a line stop cannot be used for FA, so caution should be taken in selection.
5. Importance of Error Processing
Even for RFID which has a high transmission reliability, there may still be miss-readings or malfunctions. Therefore, for most RFID devices, a response is added and transmitted to the host, giving the processing results at the time of transmission. By processing this response at the host, it is possible to analyze the problem that has been found on the site.
RF tags are limited in the number of times that they can be re-written, and also in their battery life.By monitoring these things on the system, it is possible to create a 'facility without line stop'.
6. Recognition of Laws and Exporting Conditions etc.
When using RFID in Japan, this is governed by the Japanese Radio Act, and it is necessary to confirm which portion of the Radio Act the device corressponds to, and whether or not it is necessary to apply for a wireless license.
When exporting or using RFID except Japan, it is requested to follow the relevant laws in relation to radio transmission in each country. Also, since radio laws do not have conformity, it is important to confirm in advance the authority to use the device in question with the manufacturer.
Technical Guide for 2 Dimensional Code Reader
Data Matrix ECC200
The relationship between symbol size (number of cells) and the amount of information is shown on the right. The following sample shows a 12 × 12 symbol size.
|Max. amount of information that can be expressed *1|
|10 × 10||6||3||3||1||---|
|12 × 12||10||6||5||3||1|
|14 × 14||16||10||9||6||3|
|16 × 16||24||16||14||10||5|
|18 × 18||36||25||22||16||8|
|20 × 20||44||31||28||20||10|
|22 × 22||60||43||38||28||14|
|24 × 24||72||52||46||34||17|
|26 × 26||88||64||57||42||21|
|32 × 32||124||91||81||60||30|
|36 × 36||172||127||113||84||42|
|40 × 40||228||169||150||112||56|
|44 × 44||288||214||190||142||71|
|48 × 48||348||259||230||172||86|
|52 × 52||408||304||270||202||101|
|64 × 64||560||418||372||278||139|
|8 × 18||10||6||5||3||1|
|8 × 32||20||13||12||8||4|
|12 × 26||32||22||20||14||7|
|12 × 36||44||31||28||20||10|
|16 × 36||64||46||41||30||15|
|16 × 48||98||72||64||47||23|
QR Code Model 2
The relationship between symbol size (number of cells) and the amount of information is shown on the right. The following sample shows a 21 × 21 symbol size.
|Max. amount of information that can be expressed *1|
|21 × 21|
|25 × 25|
|29 × 29|
|33 × 33|
|37 × 37|
|41 × 41|
|45 × 45|
|49 × 49|
|53 × 53|
|57 × 57|
Source 2 Dimensional Code Symbol - QR Code Specifications JISX0510
*1.Regarding Max. Amount of Information
Even the same two dimensional could have different data amount depending upon their symbol size.
In other words, if the amount of data increases, the the symbol size must also increase. Also, in terms of the information handled by the code, the maximum allowable amount of information could depend on the used characters font. The maximum number of characters for the same sized symbol changes in QR code and Data Matrix in such orders as "number only">"number and alphanumeric characters">"Chinese characters".
*2.Regarding Version (QR Code)
The number representing the symbol size is "version" in QR Code . Version one is minimum and defined by number of cells in one side of square 21 × 21, and as the number of cells increase the version number also increases.