Viracon is one of the largest architectural glass manufacturers in the United States. It designs windows for large commercial buildings, such as the Freedom Tower in New York City, as well as small projects. The company orders and sells 50 million square feet of glass each year, and its three factories are processing hundreds of orders simultaneously. In the Minnesota factory, orders are usually transported back and forth between six stations in a truck to complete cutting, laminating, lamination or imitation silk printing. Some of these transport vehicles, giant metal frames with wheels, can only hold one or two pieces of glass for an order, while others can hold much more when there is a large order.

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RFID system increases visibility of glass production

Architectural glass manufacturer Viracon is preparing to roll out a Wi-Fi-based active RFID real-time location system (RTLS) throughout the company to locate glass transporters as they move.

The system is provided by Aero Scout and has been used to track, monitor and manage all glass transport vehicles throughout the 10,000 square foot campus of Aero Scout in Minnesota. The company intends to implement and deploy this system in its other two plants before the end of the year. The locations are in St. George, Georgia and St. George, Utah.

Viracon uses a handheld Intermec SF51 mobile barcode scanner to track the movement of the truck. When a truck is installed for the first time, each piece of glass on it is attached with a barcode number label. These labels on the glass are scanned together with the barcode ID labels affixed to the transport truck, and finally linked to the back-end inventory management system of Viracon.

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When the truck is sent to a site for processing, an employee at that site will scan the ID number on the truck and update the system regarding the location of the order. An employee only needs 60% of the time it takes to scan the truck, and when looking for a specific order, it sometimes needs to go from the assembly level to the other. If the transporter cannot be found, Viracon will have to re-execute the order and start the manufacturing process from scratch. If the company found this car afterwards, part of the glass processed inside was also discarded.

According to the company’s head Miesner, the company has completed a cost-benefit analysis and determined that the system will reduce search time, increase throughput, and reduce the amount of waste glass. He expects that the search for transport vehicles can be reduced from 40% to less than 1%, and said that the company expects to reduce re-customization caused by the loss of transport vehicles by 50%-70%. Miesner said: “We expect to recover the investment in a year.”

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Application of RFID technology on automobile windshield

As early as 2010, the American Metalcraft company launched an RFID windshield tag—Crystal 3rd license plate tag, which can be used to track vehicles and control vehicle entry and exit. The RFID windshield label is stuck in the gap around the shell. The label is resistant to infrared and ultraviolet rays. It is used on the windshield with a reading range of up to 10 meters. The label surface is covered with a waterproof film, which can be printed, and has good performance in reading and storage. It can be used in the fields of vehicle entry and exit, barrier-free access for personnel, highway tolls, parking lot entry and exit, and access control. It can also be applied to civilian use And military defense projects.

Using traditional RFID windshield tags, users can only print variable data on the inside of the vehicle, which limits visual identification methods. Crystal 3rd license plate labels allow users to print variable data as needed, which can then be read from outside the car. According to the company, the label is suitable for applications that require visual identification.

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Parking permit is a typical application of this tag. The tag is attached to the windshield for vehicle entry and exit identification. This label can be bound to multiple licenses. Other application manufacturers include electronic vehicle registration, emission inspection, fleet management and charging. Most traditional RFID windshield tags can be removed without tampering and used on other vehicles. The Crystal 3rd license plate label has a tamper-proof structure. If you try to remove it, the label will not fall off completely, so the label will not be placed on other cars for use. In addition, the company also produces a series of tamper-proof and non-transferable anti-counterfeiting, anti-theft and brand protection RFID tags.

Radio Frequency Identification, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) electronic label technology, is a non-contact automatic identification technology realized by radio frequency communication. RFID electronic tags have the characteristics of small size, large capacity, long life, and reusability. They support fast reading and writing, non-visual recognition, mobile recognition, multi-target recognition, positioning and long-term tracking management.

At present, RFID electronic tag technology is widely used in the field of motor vehicle management. Compared with traditional traffic management technology, it has obvious advantages. The unique TID (Tag identifier) ​​of the electronic identification makes every front windshield With the world’s only code and identity, it enables maintenance personnel to accurately identify the date of manufacture and service life of each front windshield, and can be replaced regularly to reduce damage caused by batch damage.

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