Improve Product Quality & Process Efficiency with Video

Wide-area RFID systems and IoT software solutions provide real-time visibility of material and assets needed to keep manufacturing operations running smoothly. Passive RFID tags allow you to track materials from receiving to final assembly. RFID manufacturing systems are useful for fine-tuning parts sequencing and streamlining and error-proofing processes. A comprehensive RFID system can reduce parts losses and minimize production interruptions.

Nissan Plant Augments RFID System with Video

A Nissan auto assembly plant in North America uses an RFID system to monitor assembly processes. Car bodies are moved along the manufacturing facility via conveyors. At each assembly cell, the RFID tag attached to the car is read prior to the related step in the assembly process.

Occasionally, RFID tags are unreadable. This could be due to poor lighting conditions, the varying position of the tag, or a defective tag. When this occurs the line must stop and the tag must be either replaced or manually read. This slows the line and negatively affects production efficiency.

Nissan worked with IVC to develop a video solution to this problem. IVC’s camera management software and high resolution PTZ cameras are helping Nissan Motors overcome problems related to RFID tag reads.
At each cell location, a high-resolution color PTZ camera is mounted. All of the cameras are networked to a server in the plant control room. Loaded on this server is IVC’s Relay Server and Alarm Server software. When there is a missed tag read, the process control system generates an alarm. The IVC Alarm Server software is programmed to listen for these alarms. Since each alarm is location specific, the Alarm Server is programmed to send a series of commands to the Relay Server to properly position the corresponding PTZ camera and record a snapshot of the auto’s RFID tag.

In addition to recording the RFID tag, Alarm Server commands associated with this event are executed to change the view of the plant operator workstations in the central control room. These workstations run IVC’s View Station software. When an RFID alarm is detected by Alarm Server, alarm response commands are executed to change the view on the operator workstations, providing a visual alarm queue for the operator. This view includes the snapshot of the RFID tag recorded from the IVC camera.

The operator can then quickly enter the tag number from the recorded image thereby minimizing the impact of inability to read the RFID tag at this cell.
The difficult lighting conditions and constantly varying positions of the tag required the high quality optics and automatic, rapid exposure, and focus control that are standard in IVC cameras. The high zoom in the camera can move rapidly from a broad view to an extreme close-up view. Providing a steady close-up view in a factory environment can be difficult because small vibrations in the plant are amplified when the lens is zoomed in. Images can become jumpy and of no value. Some assembly cells in the plant have significant vibration due to the steady grinding of the overhead conveyers. Cameras that had previously been installed provided unreadable images and had to be removed.

IVC supplied “image stabilized” cameras for this application that electronically removes the jitter and jumpiness. They provide a steady image even when vibrations become quite severe.

IVC produces rugged industrial cameras with advanced vibration dampening and image stabilization to produce steady images in real world factory environments.


IVC delivered a comprehensive video solution that included industrial PTZ video cameras with image stabilization along with video management software that included:

  • Relay Server software for local and remote network access to live and recorded video
  • View Station software that provided custom operator workstation views
  • Alarm Server software that provided a camera control interface based on process events that included RFID detection.
  • Pre-sales system configuration assistance.
  • Pre-deployment software and hardware configuration and testing.
  • System commissioning and site acceptance testing.

The success in this application resulted from IVC’s efforts to thoroughly understand the requirements of the application and its willingness to provide post-sales support until the application met the customer’s needs.

Having seen the resulting payback, the company expanded the system with additional IVC cameras at other cells in the production line.

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