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An easier way for manufacturers to manage servicing and repairs

kane logo

kane_logoKANE manufactures a wide range of portable test and measurement equipment, including devices to monitor carbon monoxide, check vehicle emissions and thermometers that can measure up to 1370°C.

Keeping test equipment up to the mark requires occasional re-calibration and repair. KANE wanted to ensure that its service and maintenance operations were competitive on costs and provided customers with a rapid turnaround. It decided to automate the check-in of devices sent for maintenance or repair and worked with CoreRFID to implement an RFID-based system.

“The RFID-based system lets us check in returned instruments automatically, saving time and administrative effort and speeding turn-around for our customers.”
– Dave Watt MCIPS, Senior Buyer, Kane International

Automatic check-ins speed up turnaround

KANE’s service and maintenance operations include testing and calibrating instruments, replacing sensors where necessary and issuing appropriate certificates.

Using the old system, each instrument had to be manually checked as it entered the service centre. The technician would then have to find the instrument’s serial number and the related service history. With the volumes of instruments being handled, these manual check-ins accounted for almost half a day’s work every day.

KANE needed to be able to rapidly identify equipment being returned. Adding RFID tags to the instruments allows them to be scanned on check-in, so that they can be automatically identified and the relevant service information retrieved.

A compelling cost-benefit case

Kanie International RFID tagged analyser
The Kane 425 boiler gas analyser kit, typical of the instrumentation being tagged as part of the Kane project.

The intention was that new instruments would be fitted with RFID tags as part of the manufacturing process while existing units would have an RFID tag added when they were next sent in for service. With over 10,000 existing instruments in use, cost per unit was a particularly important feature for KANE.

The use of low-frequency tags – which have a low cost per unit – meant there was a compelling cost-benefit case for the new system. The tags were also compact and could be easily fitted inside instruments, with good read distances. Low-frequency tags have typical read distances of up to 10cm, making them particularly suitable for tagging instruments.

The new system allows instruments to be easily checked into the workshop, speeding up turnaround and saving time for staff.

The benefits

KANE’s instrument return system provides:

  • Immediate identification of returned instruments
  • Rapid retrieval of service history
  • Reduced admin time
  • Unique ID for each for each instrument.