What does RFID technology have to do with the production of Rosenbauer HEROS helmets and an improvement in quality? And what exactly does this mean?
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technology that allows the contactless identification and localization of objects using radio waves. Since the firefighting helmet is often the most important piece of personal protective equipment (PPE), it is essential to provide complete quality assurance throughout the entire production process and to document the firefighting helmet’s ‘resume’.
But how exactly does the production flow now?
The basis of the RFID documentation, as a first work step, is to place a standard label inside each helmet, which also includes the RFID chip. This RFID chip offers numerous advantages in production, as well as for the end customer.
Advantages in production
All information relevant to production is stored on the RFID chip, which subsequently practically guides the production staff through the production process. At each workplace, the chip is read and the employee is shown all work steps that must be carried out at this workplace on a monitor. Before the helmet can be swapped to the next workstation, the work steps undertaken so far must be confirmed.
The employee is, as it were, accompanied interactively through the production process, which also makes it possible to produce a large number of different helmet variants in a reasonable time and of the highest quality. At the end of the assembly line, there will once again be a comprehensive quality check, which must be signed off by the employee using their personal chip.
Advantages for the end customer
Particularly with personal protective equipment (PPE), it is becoming increasingly important in terms of care, maintenance and service to document what, when and how, for example, was done on the helmet.
Many fire departments already have management systems with which the PPE is recorded and can be assigned to a wearer (firefighter). Usually this is done manually by means of internal fire department stickers and lists. The RFID chip built into the helmet offers the ability to easily record the helmet by means of a reader and software and, as it were, to document its personal ‘resume’. Only a complete ”resume’ makes it possible to fully evaluate the respective item of PPE, as well as to decide whether it still meets its original requirements and is suitable for further deployment.