Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is commonly used in the logistics industry to track the movement of freight all over the world. It’s used by the largest shippers in the world, but its usage extends far beyond shipping. It can be used in automation systems that involve the manufacturing and packaging of products, helping businesses tag and track products throughout the production process, which comes with a whole host of benefits: 

  • Increase efficiency: production execution becomes easier and more streamlined with every process that is automated, including the scanning and tracking of parts and products.  
  • Improved quality control: RFID can track products and materials throughout production, ensuring that the right materials are being used and reporting data back to users during critical stages of production. 
  • Greater automation of manual processes: less manpower is needed to manually check parts during production. 
  • More transparency and data collection: real time data collection is consistent and allows users to monitor, assess, and improve automation processes. 
  • Reduced costs and better overhead allocation: greater efficiency and fewer production mistakes lead to a reduction in production costs and material waste. 

In order to get the most out of these RFID tracking systems, they must be implemented efficiently into an automation system. 

The Features of RFID

RFID systems in manufacturing are able to: 

  • Read and write data without direct contact: scanners read RFID tags that track and monitor automation processes. 
  • Transform items into information, allowing for better management of quality without errors. 
  • Extensive data logging features to evaluate long term performance and help reduce troubleshooting times. 
  • Identify products at varying distances with no effects on read rates. 
  • Monitor communication status via web browsers. They can act as diagnostic tools to maximize uptime. 
  • Communicate status changes in real time. 

Applications for RFID

Many manufacturers can benefit from RFID implementation. A few application examples include: 

  • Automotive: allows for automotive chassis to be reliably detected from several meters away. 
  • Parts tracking and management: accurately supply parts in high-mix production lines, including tracking parts on pallets and racks throughout the production process. 
  • Materials handling: help with sorting of products, especially in harsh environments where standard barcodes cannot easily be scanned by traditional readers. 
  • Hanging conveyance: can identify moving products when distances change and without line of sight. 
  • Error proofing: multiple RFID tags can be identified to ensure the correct materials are being used in assembly during production. 

For more information on potential RFID products for your application, contact us today.