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RFID Accelerates Tool Exchange on Mobile Equipment

The simple, safe, and fast exchange of tools is an important sales feature for mobile equipment

Pepperl+Fuchs offers more than 20 years of experience in industrial RFID technologies
Pepperl+Fuchs offers more than 20 years of experience in industrial RFID technologies

Application
Depending on the work at hand, mobile equipment tools are frequently changed. This must be accomplished quickly and safely. The goal is to protect tools from damage by automatically adjusting pneumatic operating parameters to increase yield. Unproductive exchange times are shortened and lead to improved time management.

 
Requirements
Mechanically and electrically robust hardware. Reliable correlation between tool and pneumatic operating parameters.

 
Customer advantage
Fully automatic tool exchange configuration process for highest machine reliability.



Fast and safe tool exchanges save time and prevent machine damage

What has been done

Inside the cab the RFID interface is connected to the onboard CAN bus of the equipment. A compact 18mm read head is mounted at the front of the excavator arm and is connected to the RFID interface using a shielded cable with M12 connection. RFID tags are flush mounted in each attachable tool or bucket and are well protected from the elements by the steel of the tool. The tags carry a unique ID, allowing the mobile equipment to determine the correct pneumatic operating data for the tool. Once the tool has been mechanically linked, the RFID tag is automatically read and the correct parameters are set, assuring proper operation and preventing damage. No additional manual steps are needed, which reduces the tool exchange time. Frequently, mobile equipment is rented or leased. The RFID system allows the accurate determination of actual usage hours which can be used to calculate rental fees. It is now also possible to optimize service intervals as the actual usage hour for each tool is known.

The process parameters for the various tools and buckets can be read and adjusted faster and more safely using an RFID solution.