Executive Briefings

Engine Block Manufacturer Uses RFID to Detect Defects Before Shipping

When the molds used to manufacture aluminum engine blocks are built, visibility into the entire assembly process can help ensure that any defects are caught before the finished block is shipped to a customer. With that in mind, automotive components manufacturer Nemak has automated its work-in-process (WIP) tracking, with a radio frequency identification system supplied by Balluff Inc. that writes sensor data from automation equipment to ensure that any defects in the mold are caught before molten aluminum is poured into it.

Nemak makes aluminum power-train components, including cylinder heads, engine blocks and transmission parts. Traceability involves tracking every step of a mold-making process, using automated identification, at its plant in Windsor, Ontario.

The company required a complex network of sensors, as well as RFID readers, for an assembly line on which it manufactures the molds that it needs to create aluminum engine blocks. Assembling the mold, which is composed of a mixture of sand and resin, is a highly precise process, the company reports. If anything goes wrong at any of the workstations along the 300-meter-long (984-foot-long) loop assembly line, it could affect the aluminum engine block's integrity. However, because the work is automated, a defective mold might not be caught, resulting in a flawed engine block that could then continue on to be installed within a vehicle.

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Keywords: RFID, RFID & defect detection, asset tracking, RFID in manufacturing, supply chain management, supply chain management IT, supply chain solutions

Nemak makes aluminum power-train components, including cylinder heads, engine blocks and transmission parts. Traceability involves tracking every step of a mold-making process, using automated identification, at its plant in Windsor, Ontario.

The company required a complex network of sensors, as well as RFID readers, for an assembly line on which it manufactures the molds that it needs to create aluminum engine blocks. Assembling the mold, which is composed of a mixture of sand and resin, is a highly precise process, the company reports. If anything goes wrong at any of the workstations along the 300-meter-long (984-foot-long) loop assembly line, it could affect the aluminum engine block's integrity. However, because the work is automated, a defective mold might not be caught, resulting in a flawed engine block that could then continue on to be installed within a vehicle.

Read Full Article


Keywords: RFID, RFID & defect detection, asset tracking, RFID in manufacturing, supply chain management, supply chain management IT, supply chain solutions