The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Lean Systems (CAMLS), housed in the College of Engineering, recently partnered with the San Antonio Manufacturers Association and held a one-day Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Workshop. RFID is an automatic identification technology that stores and remotely retrieves data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. RFID tags are objects that can be applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification using radio waves.
The move towards RFID technology continues to rise in both the retail and manufacturing sectors. In 2005, Wal-Mart mandated that all its top suppliers have RFID tags on pallets carrying products delivered to all Wal-Mart Distribution Warehouses. Now more manufacturers are implementing RFID systems into their distribution systems.
“Our center is unique to the country in that we try to look at the big picture and show how systems need to be integrated using a systems engineering perspective,” said Can Saygin, associate professor of mechanical engineering. “We look at the methodologies and the kinds of technologies we can bundle together for technology transfer in this industry that generates $14.6 billion dollars for the San Antonio economy.”
In addition to the scheduled seminars, the workshop in the CAMLS laboratory provided an opportunity for participants to receive “hands-on” experience and see how RFID technology is used and can be implemented at different levels in the workplace.
Together with their partners, these UTSA engineering students have developed a supply network that demonstrates how information can go back and forth using real-time scenarios,” said Glenn Thomsen, Omnitrol Networks Business Development.
“Just the work they are doing in terms of lean manufacturing applications enabled by automatic identification technologies is cutting-edge research that we are considering and is not being done anywhere else in the country.”
“The automation portion and the ability to use this technology is very cutting-edge and I like to see universities embracing this technology,” said Scott Denholm, Motorola Senior Manager for RFID Business Development. “I see a symbiotic relationship in that UTSA is giving back to the community in the engineering environment and they are getting back in learning how the technologies function in the workplace.”
The workshop was cosponsored by the UTSA Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Lean Systems, San Antonio Manufacturers Association, System ID, the Manufacturing Systems and Automation Laboratory, Omnitrol Networks, and Motorola.
The College of Engineering is one of the fastest growing colleges at UTSA, experiencing a 101 percent increase in student enrollment in the past seven years in addition to being one of the nation’s leading producers of Hispanic engineers. The undergraduate programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and the College’s faculty members are national and international leaders in areas such as manufacturing, communications, security, biomedical engineering, water resources, and transportation. The College of Engineering is a leader in helping propel UTSA to become one of the nation’s leading research-intensive institutions.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in Texas and the second largest of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution of access and excellence, UTSA aims to be a premier public research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
UTSA serves more than 28,500 students in 64 bachelor’s, 44 master’s and 20 doctoral degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond.
UTSA Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems Fact Sheet
- Established in April 2007, CAMLS has received more than $1.2 million in funding from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation and private industry to support three manufacturing engineering laboratories and 37 employees in the center.
- The center serves as a one-stop, unique source of expertise in flexible and lean technologies and systems, technology applications in manufacturing, service, and defense industries with the intention to work with industrial partners and assist them with their manufacturing and system needs.
- The center will serve as a catalyst in the continued exploration of adding additional master’s degree programs in the College of Engineering.
- The center benefits are countless not only for its industrial partners, but also for College of Engineering students participating in the program as the experience and knowledge gained will solidify their potential to become tomorrow’s leading minds in engineering.