Indirect locating of semi-finished products, forklifts and loading units in the production line
With the solution proposed by Ubiquicom and Var Industries, the manufacturer of adhesive tapes, Fabo, can know the exact position and the progress on the production line of each semi-finished product and of the batches of finished product inside the 15,000 m2 warehouse
Fabo is an Italian company established in Tuscany in 1971 and it is a leader at an international level in the self-adhesive tapes market, with its products available in more than 40 countries throughout the world.
The company specializes in the production of adhesive tapes with hot melt technology and water-based acrylics and in the customization of the tapes with flexographic and digital printing technology using modern machinery and automated processes.
The automated control of the production cycle and the complete traceability of all the materials used guarantees a total control of its processes. Several spreading lines and many cutting lines operate over an area of 15,000 m2 for making adhesive tapes in an efficient and high performance manner with maximum levels of quality.
The customer, who produces more than 300 million m2 of adhesive tape every year, wanted to set up a system which enabled the position of each semi-finished product (in the 15,000 m2 production area) and of each finished product (in the 3,000 m2 warehouse) to be known at every moment. The very high number of reels of adhesive tape did not allow for approaches based on the application of active tags on each one of them. The level of required accuracy was high in order to achieve the requested possibility of easily identifying the object being searched for. The error therefore had to be consistently less than 2-3 metres.
The solution proposed by UBIQUICOM
Ubiquicom and its partner Var Industries set up an indirect localization solution based on tracking by means of ultra-wideband technology of the forklift trucks and the use of the barcode technology (in a first phase) and RFId (in the next phase) for automatic identification of the loading unit transported.
The forklift trucks were equipped with a UWBtag mounted on the roof and powered directly by the battery of the vehicle and with a barcode reader (in the first phase) and RFId (in the next phase) which allow the loading unit transported to be identified without getting down from the vehicle. The reels of tape are labelled with passive barcode/RFId technology in order to be uniquely identified.
The Ubiquicom Locator solution provides the position of the vehicles in real time and the location of the loading units is updated in the database at the moment of unloading, storing the coordinates starting from those of the forklift truck.
Ubiquicom directly followed the installation of the fixed antennas and the equipment on the vehicles, setting up of the software, integration with the other software components, configuration of the maps and installation at the customer’s factory.
The position of the reels of adhesive tape is no longer updated manually using sheets of paper applied to each semi-finished product, but it is always available in the customer’s database; in this way, the exact position and the progress on the production line of each semi-finished product and of the batches of finished product inside the warehouse can be known.
For each finished product it is also possible to reconstruct exactly all the work phases, the machines used, the time of completion of each activity and the total production times, displaying on a map, by means of spaghetti charts, the path followed by the product. By using the Locator platform it is also always possible to know the position of each forklift truck in real time and to generate logs on the flows and the use of resources.
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