Today, smart factories require major technological advances for robotic efficiency which now include radio-frequency identification (RFID) that allows the industrial robots to find objects with greater speed and accuracy.

Researchers verified that industrial robots can locate labeled objects in milliseconds with a minimum margin of error.

In production plants, there is a high level of demand for automation and new digital technologies that allow this RFID innovation used in industrial robots and external components to make digital recognition and information exchange possible.

RFID systems are being implemented and tested in KUKA’s matrix production, together with the collaboration of HARTING, the leading global provider of industrial connection technology, which provides an open platform of versatile and flexible manufacturing. RFID systems identify machines, tools, components or other objects relevant to the process in extremely difficult industrial environments. The transponder does smart things in accordance with Industry 4.0 and for this reason, it is an important element for the production process.

Harald Heinrich, Head of the KUKA Automotive Division Competence Center says “Radio-frequency identification is a basic prerequisite for manufacturing 4.0.”
One of the main roles is exercised by automated guided vehicles (AGV) and Kuka SmartProduction_control software which is based on technologies with artificial intelligence.

The tests and pilot installation of this intelligent system are carried out in Augsburg. This new project fulfills basic functions neutral to the product and can be easily expanded with specific product tools according to the demand of the order and lot sizes. The AGV system automatically handles the transportation of the components.

The individual robots collect the components supplied by the AGVs. HARTING’s RF-R300 RFID system adapts to them using innovative technology. These transponders are found on the end effectors or accessories such as the spot welding gun.

After carrying out the process, the transponders read (RFID input) or write (RFID output) data such as weight, maintenance time, hours of operation and errors that have occurred, and send them to Kuka Cloud via OPC_UA and evaluate them.

Stefan Olding, CEO of HARTING Deutschland says, “In flexible and adaptable production, RFID technology plays a decisive role as it ensures that individual participants are networked. Our system also provides the intelligence needed in KUKA’s matrix production.”

This new feature provides the ability to control information and share it from anywhere in the world by simply reading a chip. The control provided with the HARTING system allows for the exchange of information between the KUKA software and the cloud.

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