REHAU AG Optimises Its Automotive Parts Production Quality and Logistics with RFID


(UPM Raflatac, Tampere, June 14, 2010) - REHAU AG, a leading supplier of premium quality plastic parts for the automotive industry has implemented RFID into its operations to optimise production quality and logistics.
Thanks to RFID, the company is able to manufacture individually defined parts for customers instead of being constrained to uniform mass production, and also to ensure accurate on-time deliveries contributing to a high-level of customer satisfaction. REHAU began to utilise RFID in early 2009. The company relies on UPM Raflatac ShortDipole RFID tags coupled with the complete solution, as well as Simatic RF600 readers and transponders from Siemens that are designed for harsh industrial environments.

Vehicle bumpers and side member covers at REHAU plants are made individually for each vehicle. The parts first go through an injection moulding process. Thereafter, a paper-faced RFID tag with individual ID number, information text and barcode is attached to each part enabling them to be identified in the next production stages as well as outside the plant.

Next the parts are sent for painting. Data of the exact colour variant and equipment used are included in the RFID tag to make quality control fluent in case any errors occur. Easy traceability of the manufacturing process guarantees that specific cause of error can be quickly traced back and fixed, thus keeping the possibility of undesired additional expenses at minimum.

In the following stages RFID is used to actively manage the assembly processes. Front, rear and side parts to a vehicle are commissioned from a warehouse and mobile readers from Siemens are used to compare the technical data and colour of the parts to the order to avoid incorrect deliveries.
Altogether some 200 components are installed in the following assembly stages separately to each bumper. Data from the RFID tags are read at each workstation to assist the operators to perform accurately and swiftly.

In addition to ensuring correct deliveries, REHAU uses RFID to update its ERP system with real-time information to help avoid any costly delays at the end-users production operations.

"With its highly efficient and automated processes and multiple source and sub-source processes, the automotive industry is perfect fit for utilising RFID. Linking sources of components to individual cars is essential as customised functionalities become more popular, and currently used barcode technology is usable only as a partial solution," says Mikko Nikkanen, Business Development Director, UPM Raflatac.

"General benefits for the industry ranges from gaining efficiency to supply chain, easier customisation possibilities and enhanced quality control.
Moreover, it helps eliminate the possibility of counterfeit components reaching production processes. For consumers, this means additional safety, easier maintenance and genuine possibilities to affect car functionalities," Nikkanen continues.

About UPM Raflatac

UPM Raflatac, part of UPM's Engineered Materials business group, is one of the world's leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials and the world's number one producer of HF and UHF radio frequency identification
(RFID) tags and inlays. UPM Raflatac has a global service network consisting of 13 factories on five continents and a broad network of sales offices and slitting and distribution terminals worldwide. UPM Raflatac employs 2,600 people and made sales of approximately EUR 0.95 billion (USD
1.3 billion) in 2009. Further information is available at www.upmrfid.com.

About REHAU AG

As a premium brand for polymer-based solutions for construction, automotive and industry, REHAU is an international leader. Further information is available at www.rehau.com.

About Siemens

The Siemens Industry Automation Division (Nuremberg, Germany) is a worldwide leader in the fields of automation systems, industrial controls and industrial software. Its portfolio ranges from standard products for the manufacturing and process industries to solutions for whole industrial sectors that encompass the automation of entire automobile production facilities and chemical plants. As a leading software supplier, Industry Automation optimizes the entire value added chain of manufacturers - from product design and development to production, sales and a wide range of maintenance services. With around 39,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry Automation achieved sales of 7.0 billion in fiscal year 2009. http://www.siemens.com/industryautomation

For further information, please contact:
Mr Mikko Nikkanen,
Business Development Director,
UPM Raflatac, RFID,
tel. +1 828 275 5162

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