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Implementation of IoT with RFID based tracking system in the garment production process

Abstract

The application of the internet of things (IoT) with radio frequency identification (RFID) has a rising trend day by day. In this project, a roadmap of radio frequency identification with the implementation of IoT and its design, specification, configuration and deployment are presented in the field of the garment industry. An application is accomplished to validate and support the proposed RFID implementation roadmap, architectural framework, and economic feasibility. The radiofrequency application has been implemented in the garment sewing line to support the tracing and tracking work in the process. Efficiency, production progress and non-productive time can be monitored in real-time with this IoT Implementation with RFID.

Keywords

RMG Industry, IoT, RFID, Productivity, Efficiency

Introduction

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), one of the Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technologies (Wamba and Boeck, 2008), has attracted significant attention in the fields of supply chain and manufacturing, and more recently, in various service sectors. As the name implies, RFID transmits information through radio waves between RFID tags (or transponders) and readers (interrogators) (Hunt et al., 2007). The collected information is passed on to RFID middleware for processing and uses in business applications. Each tag consists of unique identification information about the item to which it is attached, e.g. item ID, date of production, shipping detail, expiry date, etc., depending on the intended uses.

In the simplest terms, radio frequency identification (RFID)-based systems have been applied in many different areas but have been primarily utilized in logistics and supply chain management systems for identification, tracing and tracking [1]. These services provide monitoring of the system with more detailed and real-time data in various fields. RFID adopting systems offer increased capacity and labor productivity with reduced operational mistakes [2]. This study presents a comprehensive and integrated roadmap for RFID implementation, including three phases using the existing literature [3]: RFID design, configuration and deployment. The project is implemented in the RMG industry to trace and track work in process (WIP) items throughout manufacturing to validate the proposed methodology. This is where studies about RFID applications have not been performed vastly because of the installation cost. By utilizing an RFID implementation roadmap, RFID-based applications could be adopted practically and efficiently for real-time tracking of malfunctions and problems in production processes.

Additionally, incorrectness in records and order deliveries that result in complexity in planning activities and penalty costs incurred by customers is significantly prevented. This circumstance ensures significant advantages for global competition. A typical conventional method for tracking and tracing a WIP product in the industry is the barcode system or, more primitively, manual counting. During the production process, errors caused by either barcode systems or manual counting lead to unreliable and inconsistent records whose counts are very different from the actual level of the WIP inventory. In general, monitoring the complicated processes and the inconsistency of records cause high labor costs and low productivity.

Moreover, the inability to prevent theft, unexplained product loss and incorrect product delivery are indirect causes of insufficient tracking and tracing ability. As a result, dissatisfaction with the system’s efficiency and the quality of processes is a feature of this industry. RFID technology has been utilized to solve similar problems in many different industries; however, due to complex production processes [4], it is essential to develop RFID-based applications in the garment production industry. RFID implementation has attracted research due to the rapid changes in this technology and its invaluable advantages in real-life applications, such as Wal-Mart and the US Department of Defence [1]. Additionally, RFID-implementation-based studies are necessary for the executive planning of organizations [5]. Tan and Chang [6] represented an RFID-based mobile restaurant system using a wireless local area network (WLAN) and database technologies to enhance quick responses. Amaral et al. [7] proposed a mobile software framework for RFID-based applications to facilitate RFID integration into business operations. Hinkka [8] investigated material handling and tracing perception in the construction supply chain by applying a survey and face-to-face interviews. Besides these studies, some of the studies emphasized building information management systems, as realized by Zhang et al. [9], Choy [10] and Chu and Li (2008).

  1. Methodology
    1. Traditional System vs RFID based system:
      Workflow-Barcode-System
      Figure 1: Workflow of the Barcode System.

      In industry, manual input or barcode-based system is involved. In the barcode-based system, firstly, the cutting information is inserted and then the barcode is being printed. Then the printed barcode is attached to the fabric bundle and then moved to the sewing line. The operators manually write their names and other information on a piece of paper. After all the work is finished, the operator submits all the barcode tickets. Then the barcode is scanned and reports are generated.

      Workflow-RFID-System
      Figure 2 : Workflow of the RFID System.

      However, in the barcode system, real-time production process monitoring is not possible. Most of the manual entries can be escaped and new automated production monitoring can be possible through the RFID-based system. In the RFID-based system, the processes have been narrowed.

      Process flow involves a cut panel with the RFID tag in the cutting input. After the input, each sewing station has an RFID terminal and when a worker finishes his/her operation, they scan the tag. Each kind of workstation.

    2. Material Selection:
      Quality-Function-Deployment-Customer-requirement-technica-requirements
      Figure 3 : Quality Function Deployment between Customer requirement and technical requirements.

      Customer requirement is essential while planning to design a product. By having the customer requirement, some technical features should be fixed. Customer requirements were taken through a survey. The strong relationship is given 10 points, the medium relationship is given 5 points, and the poor relationship is given 2 points. Weighted total scores and percentage scores are considered for ranking the technical properties.
      Technical Properties were selected based on the features of the system to be run on the selected environment.

    3.  The Architecture of the System:
      Architectural-Framework-IoT-System
      Figure 4 : Architectural Framework of the IoT System.

      The Main architectural framework is divided into two main groups – The architecture of quality and the Architecture of the RFID terminal. The architecture of quality is divided into two subgroups- QC Box and automated traffic light system.

The Architecture of Quality System:

  1. QC defect box: QC defect box is a prototype that is made up of 3 push buttons. When any defects are detected, the bundle card must be scanned and pushed by the defect box.

    QC Defect Box
    Figure 5 : QC Defect Box.
  2. Automated Traffic Light System:
    The automated Traffic light system is connected with an automated traffic light system, which will indicate the worker’s performance and efficiency.
  1. Results and Discussion
  • Efficiency Analysis:

The efficiency of the worker with an interval of 20 minutes is shown below:

Bar Chart of Efficiency
Chart 1: Bar Chart of Efficiency.
  • Production progress

The production progress with an interval of 20 minutes has been calculated and shown below:

Bar Chart of the Production Process
Chart 2: Bar Chart of the Production Process.

This study presents a roadmap for RFID design, configuration, and deployment to fill a gap in current industry practices. Additionally, an application is performed for the garment production industry to validate and reinforce the understanding of the proposed RFID implementation roadmap within the RFID project’s application in the garment industry. The reusable RFID tag can easily be used again and again for about 1,00,000 cycles. As the efficiency and non-productive time can be monitored in real-time, increasing efficiency and lower production cost can be achieved by quickly finding the bottleneck.

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