On the technological front, Radio frequency identification (RFID) is growing and rapidly expanding technology. There are numerous advantages of application of this technology in the manufacturing sector, particularly with respect to the supply chain, inventory management and stores. The RFID based technological applications, employing the new Electronic product code (EPC) RFID chip, yield astonishing benefits as a result of the easy connectivity of business partners with the supply chain. In the context of supply chain management, the manufacturers can utilize this technology to assist in the traceability of the components or parts, thereby reducing lots of overheads such as maintenance, manpower, printing, labeling, etc. The RFID has found many uses in the industrial sector, particularly in the storehouse functions.
Depending upon the application area, the return on investment of employing RFID technology can be evaluated. But, in any case, keeping in view the benefits, reduction in overheads and ease of operation that its deployment brings, the returns are fast. The issue of unreliability of RFID tag standards, however, raises some concerns and operational hurdles in the retail RFID systems. Some application areas such as traceability, part identification, replacement, asset management, & refilling are best suited for RFID technique.
Only one technology can not take hurdles out of the whole business process and hence, RFID techniques can not be thought as the only requirement. The technology deployment is done in a more holistic manner to yield the desired results. While deploying the RFID technology, the business procedures should be analyzed properly with respect to the data collection and sorting perspective. Accordingly, the RFID technique can be implemented. Rather than just jumping to “Tag first” approach, the “appropriately tagging” based approach is required. While the RFID technology is selected for an application area, the other component of the technology plan should also be given appropriate emphasis so as to reap best outcomes. Traditionally handheld barcode readers like the Symbol LS2208 where used in many industry processes but there are a number of draw backs when using these tools, each barcode must be individually scanned and your staff movement can be impeded as many of the cheaper scanners are corded to movement is quiet limited.
Source – rileyporter
The organizations can reduce the operating costs and enhance the efficiency by utilizing the RFID technique in the business activities.
The RFID technology is being used in the industrial and commercial sector for more than 40 years now, since its development in 1940.
In the industrial sector particularly, the RFID techniques assist in the automatic tracking of the machine parts, material and identification of containers. RFID technology delivers accurate results in locating the components through the RFID tags, thereby reducing the cost. The activity can be performed efficiently and also in the minimal time. This is a direct improvement in the performance.
The data capturing can be quick and businesses can deliver better services to the stake holders, internal as well as external customers.
Product Tracking & Genealogy
The RFID technique based product tracking is very useful in the industry, be it a mass production industry or aviation industry. The RFID technique simplifies the outlining of genealogy or the information of a particular product. This way the product recognition and traceability becomes easy. It is evident that any wrong information captured at any stage of the production process may cost tremendous amount of money to the manufacturer.
The RFID Tag can store the product details such as ID number, etc. and in turn can be accessed by the corresponding reader. The traceability of any product can become quick. Apart from just locating the product, the product information can be fetched and stored back in the RFID tag throughout the life of the product. This way the various business processes can benefit from the quick retrieval of the product information.
The product genealogy information is very important from the point of view of product’s service, profits and recall operations. RFID can help companies in detecting the similar products and thus avoid ineligible service claims. The product ID information and other details stored in the RFID tags provide a distinct feature set for every product.
In case of mass production industry, it is required to use the correct parts in the assembly line so that there is not quality problem and mismatch. The RFID technology based tags provide information about the product for ensuring lifetime traceability and genealogy. RFID makes it convenient to identify the products and thus, ensures that correct parts are added to the assemblies, logistics and packaging departments.
Automobile manufacturers and their associate vendors apply RFID technology to make sure that the minor assemblies are installed as per the framework. The OEM can incorporate RFID chip on the components that are to be included in the main assembly line. This would make a better product and correct assemblies. The whole assembly line can be automated by incorporating RFID readers on the material handling equipment so that they carry the correct component. The product information as read by the corresponding readers is also fed to the software through the local area network. This way companies can minimize the expenses incurred on the material tracking and work in progress inventory management.
One of the major uses of RFID technique is in the replenishment of the production material. As the shop floor or the assembly lines are buzzing with the production activities, the RFID techniques can be used for refilling the stock of work-in-progress component inventory. The software application associated with the RFID technology solution can check the available stock and raise automatic alarm for the replenishment. The system would get enabled for a far greater responsiveness in order to deliver faster output. This would also mean a better performance and efficiency. The cost reduction with respect to reduced overheads and inventory is another direct indicator.
Unlocking the Value
The RFID chip is a way of sourcing product data from many different uses in many different application areas. As a manufacturer, the main thing to appreciate is the utility of RFID tag in envisaging the value it brings and profit on the investment. As per the RFID application, the Tags are used that can be of different sizes, frequencies and price. But, successful implementation of RFID technology is primarily taken from the perspective of the operational improvements it brings.
The RFID based technological solution is an enterprise level information system solution. The Tags are just one part of it. RFID technique impacts the organizational performance by bringing in the operational efficiency. It helps in traceability, product genealogy, automation and replenishment. In the area of supply chain management, RFID technology usage is highly advocated.
This is a guest post by Neil Jones who is head of marketing for eMobileScan, one of Europes leading providers to the data capture industry. Specialising in handheld computers like the Motorola MC55 and Symbol MC70