Valmet Automotive is a leading service provider in automotive engineering, vehicle manufacturing, convertible roof systems and related business services. It serves vehicle-manufacturing customers like Daimler, Fisker Automotive, Garia, THINK and Porsche. The company produces over 1,100,000 high quality cars per year, every third of them convertibles.
For over four decades of experience in high-quality manufacturing of premium cars, Valmet has gained competitiveness in manufacturing engineering and competence in body welding, painting and final assembly, and quality-oriented, multi-skilled production teams.
The challenge they were facing was in their highly automated production process was in the painting of chassis. Car chassis go into the painting twice during production. After a chassis comes from the painting, the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) needs to know how many times the chassis has been painted and whether it needs to go back into painting or to the next process.
Valmet used barcode tags to track the painting of the chassis, which after the painting became unreadable. As a solution to this, they used a cover on the barcode label but they had to tear it after each painting in order to be able to read the information on the label. In addition, for the chassis that had to be painted twice, they had to use a new barcode label for each round of painting. This was a time consuming effort and Valmet started looking for an alternative solution.
Vilant replaced the barcode tags with high temperature inlay UHF Class 1 Gen 2 technology tags. These are heat-resistant tags as the chassis go through high temperatures that strengthen the color. In addition to standing 220 degrees Celsius, these tags are also resistant to layers of chemicals and paint. The information on the RFID tags can be read from a distance by RFID readers even when covered in paint or not in direct exposure to the reader. In addition, the information of the tags can be changes, by simply using an RFID handheld reader, eliminating the need for changing tags.
Vilant Engine, embedded control software inside the RFID readers, is connected directly to Valmet’s production automation system (MES). It gives reliable information about the status of the chassis along the painting process in real-time.
After a successful deployment of RFID system for the painting process, Valmet is now taking RFID into usage for the whole production process.
- Higher level of automation and traceability
- Reduced manual labor
- Reliable data transmission to MES through Vilant Engine