The production of chocolate is a complex process that involves multiple stages. It is important to be able to track and trace all equipment in every factory and warehouse to ensure a smooth production process. Chocolate molds need to be transparently monitored throughout the production line, from the mold-insert station, changing station to the mold washing stations and storage facilities.
- Transparent monitoring and management of all molds
- Increasing plant efficiency.
- Optimizing plant safety.
The WDS Solution
Every plastic mold in every plant is equipped with RFID data carriers. Read/write heads are permanently installed on the production lines and on mobile acquisition systems at warehouses and production areas – typically the mold changing stations and the molding/depositing machines, or optionally, also at weighing or other control units.
The forklift is guided to the selected mold rack by EZ lights. At the selected mold rack, identification takes place via RFID between the forklift and rack. Data exchange is achieved with the ERP-system for permanent inventory control.
The forklift then transports the selected mold rack to the handling robot at the start of the production line. An RFID-system close to the handling robot identifies the mold rack. A robotic arm then places stacks of molds onto a robotic feeder. Each individual mold is identified during robotic feeding as the molds are fed to the conveyor belt.
The information produced is synchronized with a server for comprehensive mold management and tracking. Possible data stored in the tag inside each mold includes an article number, product name, mold number of the set, production date, positing program, and the cleaning program.
Each mold is identified once more before entering the depositor for process control and maximum production transparency.
Each mold is then checked for the detection of chocolate residue. Non-empty molds are thus identified. Non-empty molds are sent to the cleaning stations. Each mold is placed on the rack and scanned when entering the machine to detect the correct cleaning program. Clean molds can then be reused.
Hardware & Software
- Turck – HF/UHF Tags
- Turck – HF/UHF Read/Write Devices
- Turck – RFID BL ident System
- Transparent control over mold lifecycle management
- Permanent inventory control of all assets
- Potential for a fully automated stock management
- Verification and optimization of the production process
- Short changeover times between different mold batches
- Improvement of shift efficiency
- Automated selection of correct cleaning program
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