RFID on heated holding crucibles

"Smart crucibles" by using RFID technology

The new development by the fiwa) group from Burghausen enables data acquisition on heated holding crucibles through the use of UHF RFID technology.


The transport of holding crucibles for molten aluminium, for example, is primarily a logistical challenge. In addition to the correct medium temperature, the relatively high temperatures on the crucible outer walls (200 °C) have so far posed a major problem for the application of electronic components during delivery. lib/fiwa/images/produkte/RFID/Aleris-II_200805_002a.jpg

The use of innovative insulation techniques consisting of several adaptable insulating layers makes it now possible, for the first time, to use standard components of the so-called Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

Through the development of fiwa)group Department KWA (Competence Centre for Plant Manufacturing), the whole path, from production to delivery to the customer, can thereby be tracked in real time. "In combination with the crucible weighing patented by fiwa, the complete and continuous acquisition of material data, such as weight, filling quantity, temperature, etc. is thus possible."

Furthermore, the system is also able to provide information on the alloy composition, any slag content therein, or product residues. This data is of paramount importance for the effectiveness of the entire logistics chain and batch management. This ensures that, upon delivery of the goods, no errors occur during data transfer; moreover, through this new method, it is also possible to automate this kind of processes.

lib/fiwa/images/produkte/RFID/Aleris-II_200805_002b.jpgThe big advantage for manufacturers and consumers is the fact that, inter alia, the acquisition of transponder data in crucibles occurs in a non-contact way.

This is done either by antennas, which may be installed outside the hazardous area (E.g.on truck scales in the receiving  and shipping area), or directly in the premises with the help of hand-held terminals. This patented world novelty has already proved its robustness through use in the aluminium industry.

Thanks to this technology, significant cost reductions can be achieved in multiple areas, from manufacturing to goods transfer, to the benefit of both manufacturers and their customers.

Fotos: Siemens