Transparent Mold Logistics with RFID
  • Transparent Mold Logistics with RFID
  • Transparent Mold Logistics with RFID
  • Transparent Mold Logistics with RFID
  • Transparent Mold Logistics with RFID
  • Transparent Mold Logistics with RFID
Asset Management

Transparent Mold Logistics with RFID

In 2008, Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen (WDS) implemented an RFID system in confectionery machines to enable transparency in mold logistics.

Several thousand plastic molds at the production plants of WDS are equipped with RFID data carriers. All molds can be tracked, traced and managed throughout all production lines. The RFID system transparently reveals the location of every mold and can trace the route each mold has taken throughout the production plant – from storage, to the production line, to the cleaning stations. Potential error sources are thus identified and easily located.

Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen (WDS), together with its sister company Maschinenbau Runkel is a global manufacturer of confectionery machines. Since 1997, the company has been developing and manufacturing equipment at a facility in Rengsdorf in approximately 10,000 sqm of office space and production halls. Research and development is carried out in WDS’s own laboratory, where new production facilities for confectionery manufacturing are developed.

Process Requirements

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.

Technology Partner

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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