In 2017, Dana implemented a new MES system to meet growing customer demand. Along with the new MES system, DANA began using RAIN RFID for 100% traceability through the manufacturing process. In this process, every DANA part is individually scanned at each station in the process, and as a batch when leaving the facility on a pallet.
After thoroughly testing a large variety of off-the-shelf RAIN RFID tags, DANA was unable to suitable solution for tagging of automotive parts. Off-the-shelf tags either failed testing or were too large and expensive to meet stringent product requirements and price targets.
Dana commissioned Confidex Ltd., the leader in industrial RFID tags, to develop a custom RFID tag which could meet Dana product requirements including high temperature washing and painting. Throughout the design process, DANA and Confidex teams worked closely together to ensure optimal read performance and adhesion of the final tag design.
Joe Hoerl, Sales Director of North America at Confidex Ltd, sees the value in wireless technologies like RAIN RFID, NFC, and Bluetooth making the difference in the automotive industry: “Dana has been a leading supplier in the automotive industry for more than a century. We’re excited to work together to innovate solutions which enable higher levels of automation and production efficiency.”
The end result was success in achieving 100% traceability of each product despite the rigors of the Dana production including: high temperature washes, painting, and handling while also being read at any product orientation. RAIN RFID fulfilled these requirements with affordable pricing to tag every product.
Today, each product has a RAIN RFID tag which stays with the product through its full lifecycle.
Brent Vetter, Sr. Process Engineer at Dana notes “The primary business benefit realized at Dana has been that the operator doesn’t have to grab a 2D barcode or UPC scanner to identify the product. The tag is scanned without having the operator and robotics or automation system orient the tag in any particular direction.
This saves significant work and cycle time while maintaining 100% traceability through production.”