United Technologies Corp. Touts RFID System Benefits for Operations and Logistics

May 10, 2013 Kristen Hess

United Technologies Corp. Touts RFID System Benefits for Operations and Logistics

Balaji Suresh, the materials manager at the Climate, Controls and Security (CCS) division of United Technologies Corp., was one of many satisfied end users at RFID Journal LIVE! CCS provides heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration technology for residential housing. Named by IndustryWeek as the one of the nation’s top ten manufacturing plants, CCS’ Collierville, Tennessee facility uses RFID to track component assembly and shipment of finished goods in order to improve efficiency, safety and quality of their assembly line and shipping processes.

S3Edge, a leading provider of RFID-based tracking solutions, worked with CCS to provide the RFID solution, and chose to use Microsoft BizTalk RFID middleware. The solution utilized a variety of products including Impinj Speedway Revolution readers and Smartrac ShortDipole wet inlays with built-in Impinj Monza 5 chips. To deploy the solution, workers installed Speedway Revolution readers equipped with two antennas at each of the plant’s assembly lines, and at each shipping dock door. Metal carts transporting contents were tagged with passive RFID tags.

According to Suresh, tagged items are monitored by readers throughout the assembly line. In addition, when items are transported out of the plant via a forklift, readers mounted above the dock doors detect the units that are leaving. The forklift driver is able to view the read results, which show what the forklift is carrying, along with a confirmation if all units meet shipping criteria. Staff members can use handheld readers to detect any missing items.

During his presentation, Suresh reported that since the installation in September 2011, there has been significant reduction of hazards, as staff members no longer have to monitor items to be shipped in high traffic areas. Additionally, he’s seen a 33% improvement in productivity and an 80-90% reduction in errors. CCS saw a return on its investment in less than 2 years.

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