Rising customer demands have hammered the supply chain like a freight train. RFID technology is being sought in by manufacturing companies, warehouses, and distribution center owners who are under increasing pressure to perform. Due to the advantages that RFID offers the sector, it’s to no surprise that interest in RFID technology has grown rapidly.
What does RFID stand for?
An RFID tag is a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag used to identify and monitor items and assets in the supply chain.
RFID’s Role in Manufacturing
In manufacturing, RFID refers to radio signals in numerous sectors, including supply chain management, inventory management, and production.
There are several ways in which RFID technology may be employed in manufacturing, improving the overall efficiency of the whole process. RFID technology is beneficial in various manufacturing sectors, including the car sector.
RFID Manufacturing Components
Both RFID and NFC (Near-field Communication) depend on short-range communication between two devices to transfer data.
While NFC is commonly utilized in mobile payments and contactless cards, RFID is widely employed in projects, gadgets, and businesses.
Because there are several methods to apply RFID in manufacturing, we will focus on the most common components used in industrial settings.
RFID tags are a type of tracking system that use radio frequency to transmit data from the tab to a reader. They can store a wide range of information including serial numbers and short descriptions. RFID tags may also be called RFID chips, and they be divided into two broad categories:
1. Active RFID Tags
Active RFID tags, including toll tags, are powered by an inbuilt battery. As a result, they tend to be bulkier, rugged, durable, and even more expensive. Their dependency on a power source means that they have shorter lifespans.
2. Passive RFID Tags
Passive RFIDs are the most common. They do not need a power source and have a much shorter read range. Because passive tags are much more economical, they are a popular choice for supply chain management. In addition to being less costly, they are smaller in size, lightweight, and can potentially last a lifetime. These tags may be affixed to metal surfaces or long-lasting applications in a tough form.
So, how is information read and transmitted? RFID uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects. Through radiofrequency, tags share data from the tag to the reader, which receives the information and uses it for convenience.
Each RFID tag has its own unique identifier, like a barcode, that can be scanned in batches to improve inventory management, shipping, and manufacturing.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sends radio waves from one device (or tag) to a database through a scanner or reader. They usually have more than one memory banks to store diverse information and unique identifiers.
This database allows you to manage tags, change data, and monitor trends or anomalies.
Benefits of RFID in Operations
RFID is at the heart of the Internet of Things. It can offer benefits for businesses of all sizes.
Regardless of your position, every production department has laborious amounts of stock and inventory checks that can be time-consuming. By automating processes and improving the utilization of assets and quality, RFID enhances productivity and reduce costs.
Let’s take a detailed look at some of RFID technology’s benefits to the manufacturing industry.
1. Transparency in the Logistics Chain
This has been a longstanding problem in supply chains because many parts are unknown and prone to problems. However, RFID technology helps to eliminate such issues.
Increased supply chain visibility provides its own set of advantages, including better resource management, fewer shipping problems, and accurate planning.
2. Tracking of Assets
Your company can trace from the tiniest component up to a finished automobile. The item may be monitored and controlled with simplicity as long as an RFID tag is attached or embedded in it.
When it comes to managing reorders or shipments, knowing precisely how much stock you have left is extremely beneficial. RFID will eliminate the need for ‘hand-scanning’ and you’ll be able to order new stock accurately in a matter of minutes. Improvement in inventory tracking has a direct impact to customer experience, leading to increased sales.
3. Reduced Errors
By building a more visible chain from start to finish, you’ll be able to spot trends or highlight concerns quickly. RFID technology requires minimal human interaction to operate. As a result, you can move your team members to other tasks while still collecting the vital data you need. This will reduce the likelihood of potential human errors.
4. Real-Time Visibility
The additional information that RFIDs provide to manufacturers create a much more controlled environment, simplifying administration.
Real-world applications include doing real-time inventory checks and determining whether a manufacturing fault has occurred.
5. Added Protection
Manufacturers have made the safety of their employees a top priority. Companies in a variety of industries implement RFID to improve quality control and efficiency. These include industries such as mining, energy and chemicals, and oil. Unlike other available technology, RFID tags can handle the harsh environments these industries encounter. This includes humidity, extreme temperatures, and high-vibration environments like underground pipes and trucks.
Furthermore, stricter control on raw materials and products can limit internal and external threats.
Implement RFID in Your Manufacturing Operations
For supply chain managers seeking to boost productivity and keep up with increased demand, RFID manufacturing technology is an obvious option. Olympus Controls and Zebra Technologies provide a wide range of RFID products to satisfy the requirements of industrial businesses. Get in touch with Olympus Controls now to learn more about the RFID solutions we offer and how they might benefit your business.