NFC Supported Production Line

OData support
Dr. Hamar János Krisztián
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

My thesis project had two main parts, because two applications were developed for two very different platforms. The first task was to create an application that can provide better possibilities for workpiece tracking during the production and after it. This aim is achieved by NFC technology. Three NFC modules were installed along the production line and controlled with a Single Board Computer (SBC). In the first part of my project a program has been created for this microcomputer that can simultaneously handle all of the three NFC modules. This program has been written in C using two additional extensions. This program is using multi-threading technology to be able to handle all the devices simultaneously. Each of the devices has their own thread. NFC tags are read and written by their threads automatically according to the information that the threads receive in their input files. These input files are created by a Java program that communicates with an OPC server. The program has a possibility to start a Graphical User Interface where the user can easily change many settings, read and write NFC tags with more options than in console mode.

The second main part of my project is to design and write an Android application that can communicate with an HTML web service, read and write NFC tags. This application is written in Android’s special Java language using Eclipse development environment. The aim of this application is to give the possibility to the user to make orders easily towards the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) in a user-friendly environment. The secondary purpose of this application is to collect the Unique Identification number (UID) of the NFC tags and store them for later use. The user is able to select from these IDs, choose from the available order types and make the order. This application is also able to detect errors that have occurred during the manufacturing and have written to the NFC tags with the devices near the conveyors and offers a possibility to send them back for repairing if it is possible.

A part of my task was to define a data structure in NFC tags that can be handled fast enough for the speed of the conveyors. This data is accepted (or at least a part of it) by other phones as a standardized data set. The NDEF message standard was used as a basis. It is used in almost every NFC application on the market and was extended with another data structure that meets our requirements.


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