RFID-enabled real-time wireless manufacturing for adaptive assembly planning and control

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Wireless Manufacturing (WM) is emerging as a next-generation advanced manufacturing technology (AMT). WM relies substantially on wireless devices (e.g. RFID—Radio Frequency Identification or Auto ID—Automatic Identification, and on wireless information/communication networks (e.g. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth), for the collection and synchronization of manufacturing data. This paper proposes a WM framework where RFID devices are deployed to workstations, critical tools, key components, and containers of WIP (Work In Progress) materials to turn them into so-called smart objects. The study is based on a simplified product assembly line. Smart objects are tracked and traced and shop-floor disturbances are detected and fed back to decision makers on a real-time basis. Such real-time visibility closes the loop of adaptive assembly planning and control. A facility called assembly line explorer is provided for the line manager to oversee the status of the entire assembly line, and a workstation explorer facility for operators to monitor the status of their operations at corresponding workstations. These facilities improve the effectiveness of managerial decisions and operational efficiency.

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