Brustia-Alfameccanica is a historic company in the footwear mechanical sector specialized in the production of shoe machinery, such as heel nailers, heel fixers, backpart moulders, toe formers and x-ray quality control systems. The continuous collaboration with the most important shoe manufacturers allows the company to always be at the forefront of technology and to promptly intercept and satisfy customer needs.
In fact, to improve and monitor the management of production waste in a shoe factory, Brustia has designed an automatic technological solution, called REJECTO, which tracks defective footwear in real time without interrupting the operator's activities. Currently, waste management takes place through sampling or techniques that require a lot of time and effort on the part of the operator.
The project involves the use of technologies such as RFID and barcodes to scan and analyze waste. These defective footwear are placed inside REJECTO, a machine equipped with RFID readers, sensors, micro-controllers and a screen for managing human interactions. The machine is connected to the internet/company network and sends information which is analyzed by software which will produce a report in real time.
The pre-established objectives are to trace production waste, improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase general productivity by promptly restoring waste with new footwear to be put into production to meet orderly orders.
Technological aspects used in the REJECTO project
The Industry 4.0 model allows a great improvement in communications and business processes through the use of latest generation technologies. RFID technology is one such technology which consists of a memory chip that saves product information and can be read from a distance. The chip is totally passive and requires no power, so it can be easily inserted into any product. RFID technology is used in the project to uniquely and digitally identify products and send the information to a server which analyzes the data and generates a report. The latter will provide important data on the criticalities of the production cycle, for example how many shoes are rejected in each processing stage. The platform will be automated and the operator will simply have to place the rejected product inside REJECTO, a device equipped with WiFi/Ethernet to be able to connect to the company's digital infrastructure.
The man-machine interface has been designed to be clear, intuitive and user friendly so that the operator has to carry out only a few simple operations, avoiding errors and long execution times.