In this contribution you can read about what technical prerequisites
have to be met for RFID to play such an important role in tool identifi
cation and workpiece tracking, and what RFID means for modern
Tool Identification and Workpiece Tracking
RFID – A key technology in modern production
Tool-ID application with RFID Chip in the standardized Tool-Holder
High level of automation reduces cost & increases quality
Modern production processes need the highest possible level of
automation. On one hand, this reduces the cost per unit after the
investment and in the long term. In addition, automated processes
result in fewer quality deviations than manually guided processes.
On the other hand, industrial manufacturing requires ever more flexible
use of the production equipment as the part variety continues to grow.
For example, to be able to realize individual, custom-tailored solutions
To meet these challenges of the manufacturing processes in metalworking,
modern machine tools must automatically control and monitor
material flows. This applies to both the path of the workpieces through
the plant (as components of the product to be manufactured) and
to the tools used for the machining process. RFID, offering fast data
communication in real-time, meets these requirements. The autonomous
system gathers and documents production and quality data on
a continuous basis, so that the data can be recalled at any time.
Tool Identification with RFID
Tool Identification using RFID has been successfully used on machine
tools for around 30 years. Since the mid-1980’s, inductive sensor
technology made it possible even then to transmit data by means of
inductive oscillation. Signals were modulated over the oscillation. This
allowed for the first time tool-relevant data, i.e. the specific information
about the respective tool, to be stored without contact on a data carrier
attached to the tool holder. This ensures unambiguous recognition
and matching of the tool (Fig. 2). And with the help of RFID read
heads, the tool data can be read out wherever desired (such as on the
machine tool) or both read and written (such as on the tool presetter).
The automatic process of the data ensures that all the data are always
correct and current.