March 23, 2020

RFID is commonly used for track & trace applications in the automotive industry. There is an increasing demand for customized solutions that seamlessly drop into existing production lines. At a leading automobile tire manufacturer, Pepperl+Fuchs designed an innovative RFID system. At this customer’s site, the RFID system enables traceability of semi-finished goods while being cleverly integrated into the production line.

Special HF read/write head for cap strip and tire building machines

A key component of this solution is the high-frequency read/write head IQH1-F198-V1, which was built especially for detection of semi-finished goods on bobbins in cap strip and tire building machines. It is a challenging application, as the metal bobbin fixtures are located within the field of the RFID read/write head. Due to this proximity, wireless communication interference is possible. The position of the RFID tag attached to the bobbin is also not clearly determined. It is located in varying positions on a circular segment around the bobbin fixture.

To solve this problem, the HF read/write head features a ring-shaped design. This allows the bobbin fixture to pass through the read/write head while the RFID tag is always within the head’s detection range. Workers on the line do not have to pay attention to tag positioning when changing bobbins. This also enables reading and writing tag information while the bobbin rotates—as opposed to standard solutions that would require a standstill. This arrangement ensures process safety and traceability of semi-finished goods at all times.

System solution from a single source

In addition to the special HF read/write heads and sturdy RFID tags for industrial environments, the complete RFID solution encompasses control units for data transfer to PROFINET, EtherNet/IP or EtherCAT. The system is rounded out by tailor-made cordsets from Pepperl+Fuchs’ broad “Connectivity” portfolio, which supports seamless integration of all RFID components.

Highlights of RFID system for tire manufacturing