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SME DVD shows real-world applications for RFID.

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May 9, 2008 - Part of Manufacturing InsightŪ Video Series, "RFID: Tool Tracking Solutions" shows infrastructure and technology behind RFID as well as real-world applications, challenges, and advantages of using RFID. Viewers will visit 4 manufacturing companies, including Traxle Manufacturing, maker of precision-metallic components; Absky, manufacturer of carbon composites; Witman, producer of automation systems for plastics industry; and The Nordam Group, manufacturers of aircraft components.

New SME DVD Shows Real-World Applications of Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID)

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1 SME Dr., P.O. Box 930
Dearborn, MI, 48121

Press release date: May 7, 2008

DEARBORN, Mich., May 7, 2008 - The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announces the release of "RFID: Tool Tracking Solutions," part of its award-winning Manufacturing InsightsŪ Video Series. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), the process and physical infrastructure in which a unique identifier is transferred from a device (tag) to a reader via radio frequency waves, is used in a wide variety of applications both in the supply chain as well as manufacturing to improve performance of manufacturing processes and to increase accuracy in the supply chain.

The video, authored by Manuel A. Pachano, shows the infrastructure and technology behind RFID as well as the real-world practical applications, challenges and advantages of using RFID to support quality and productivity. Viewers will visit four unique manufacturing companies to see how RFID helped to save them money while at the same time ensuring quality production:

Traxle Manufacturing, a leading designer and manufacturer of precision-metallic components that go into vehicle transmission and driveline systems, demonstrates how RFID is used on precision tools to maintain and communicate activity history.

Absky, a large manufacturer of carbon composites servicing the commercial aviation industry, identifies RFID as a complimentary solution to maintain and re-stock their MRO inventory system.

Witman, a manufacturer of automation systems for the plastics industry, incorporates RFID on the end of a robotic tooling system to provide them with quick changeover and error-proof tooling.

The Nordam Group, manufacturers of aircraft components, explains their use of RFID to track data on high-value composite layup molds used for large aircraft interior and structure components. Excerpts from video:

"Any time you involve the human element, there are a number of positions at which errors can take place," explains Mark Sippal of Traxle Manufacturing. "The biggest advantage to RFID for machine tools is the fact that it doesn't rely on any type of optical technology. The automation level reached by the RFID process we implemented is prone to fewer errors on the part of the operator."

"The staff at our facility is very lean, and we only have a couple people who administer the crib part time," says Steven Henry at Absky. "The RFID technology we implemented is, by and large, a hands-off system for us. It allows us to track inventory levels, re-order parts, and we're not running out of items we need. We can't track our inventory levels accurately with the people we have. Cribmaster does that for us."

Excited about the success of the program implemented at their facility, Witman believes there is a bright future for RFID solutions integrated within the product lines. "After seeing how easy this is and how well it works, we don't see any reason we couldn't add this to other types of automation," says Tom Schaffner of Witman.

"The RFID tool tracking system has given us several benefits: straight productivity, real time information on where our parts are, and we've gained a tremendous amount of storage area by the way this system uses our facility," says Mike Metcalf of The Nordam Group.

Produced by Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2008; Author: Manuel A. Pachano; DVD; ISBN 898544001696; Order Code: DV08PUB7; 35 minutes; Price: $149 (SME Member Price: $129). Order online at:, or call (800) 733-4763 (outside the U.S. & Canada, call (313) 425-4500). Purchase order or check, mail order request to: Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Resource Center, P.O. Box 6028, Dearborn, MI, 48121, or fax to (313) 425-3401.

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About SME: The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The Society has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
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