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Industry

Dubai in world-first for robot-operated printing

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has inaugurated the first factory in the world to use robots in the printing and manufacturing of vehicle number plates.

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Dubai’s vehicle number plates will now be printed by robots

German firm Tönnjes designed the world’s fully-automated license plate production, which will now see Dubai produce around 33,000 vehicle number plates a day using robotics.

The robot receives printing orders electronically through an e-Licensing system and begins printing plates with no human intervention required.

The system is capable of tracking the lifecycle of a number plate from the point of manufacture up to when it is scrapped, using a QR code printed onto the plate.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA, toured the factory with the new technology, located at the Customers Happiness Centre in Deira.

… the new system can produce a plate every 15 seconds and print six different types of plates at one time, with a zero-margin error rate

The factory uses a combination of Fourth Industrial Revolution technology and artificial intelligence applications to print without a human operator.

The old system could only print 3,000 plates a day, whereas the new system can produce a plate every 15 seconds and print six different types of plates at one time, with a zero-margin error rate, ensuring no number is repeated.

RTA will install 10 further machines at centres of service providers and will be controlled through the authority’s central factory.

Tönnjes says its automated production line digitally connects all aspects of vehicle plate production, including cutting, embossing and packaging.

The firm specifies that not only does this system increase efficiency, but also reduces the likelihood of criminal manipulation of plates, as each plate can be traced back to every production stage even once it is on the road.

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