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Project Database
Project Reference: GHP/042/07LP
Project Title: RFID-Enabled Real-Time Manufacturing Shop-floor Information Infrastructure for PRD Processing Trade Enterprises
Hosting Institution: The University of Hong Kong (HKU)
Abstract: The project proposes to apply RFID technologies to develop an easy-to-deploy and simple-to-use shop-floor information infrastructure for manufacturing companies to achieve real-time and seamless dual-way connectivity and interoperability between application systems at enterprise, shop-floor, work-cell and device levels. The use of this proposed technology will allow manufacturing enterprises to improve shop-floor productivity and quality, reduce the wastes of manufacturing resources, cut the costs in manufacturing logistics, reduce the risk and improve the efficiency in cross-border customs logistics and online supervision, and improve the responsiveness to market and engineering changes. The proposed infrastructure performs several key functionalities.

1. RFID devices, value-adding manufacturing objects (e.g. machines, materials, pallets, tools and operators) and their operational logics / intelligence are combined so that manufacturers are able to cost-effectively adopt real-time technologies for collecting and processing real-time manufacturing data.

2. A shop-floor can be reconfigured at the level of work-cells from RFID-enabled smart manufacturing objects and at the level of manufacturing processes from smart work-cells. Gateway systems are developed at two levels to connect the shop-floor application systems to enterprise application systems and to work-cell application systems respectively.

3. The proposed infrastructure provides a suite of tools for different personnel (e.g. shop-floor managers and operators, process planners, facility managers, enterprise customs officers) to manage and visualize real-time shop-floor information, and to monitor business operations and facilitate adaptive decision making in different stages of manufacturing definition, configuration and execution.

4. Three pilots will be conducted to demonstrate how the proposed infrastructure can be used to develop new and upgrade existing enterprise application systems to make use of real-time shop-floor data. Case studies will focus on (1) adaptive scheduling system using real-time shop-floor information in a part fabrication company; (2) responsive shop-floor planning and scheduling system considering real-time disturbances (engineering changes, supply changes, customer requirement changes) for assembling large-sized products; and (3) preparation of periodical customs inspection data and estimation of actual unit consumption based on real-time shop-floor information in a large processing trade enterprise.
Project Coordinator: Professor George Q. Huang
Approved Funding Amount: HK$6.36M
Project Period: 1 Jul 2008 - 30 Sep 2010
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