Radio-frequency identification technologies (RFID) have always had a close connection with automation. The automotive industry was the trailblazer that hyped this technology, with RFID coming in handy for automotive manufacturing and assembly including several levels of tier suppliers as well as automakers. As things became more and more automated, there was an increasing need to implement any kind of traceability or tracking. Moreover, other industries are further realizing the value of automation, which has led to RFID and Bluetooth technologies growing in parallel to cater to demands in new scenarios.
Pharmaceutical operations have much to benefit from track and trace capabilities, as they need 100 percent traceability for documenting and reporting on their tasks as well as tracing back to their origins when an error occurs. With track and trace being so crucial to not just pharma but also food and beverage operations, RFID offers a technique of automatically monitoring sterilization processes, ingredients, containers, and so on.
Across manufacturing industries, particularly in automotive and pharma, an increasing number of work-in-progress (WIP) applications are realizing the benefits of RFID. As companies now acknowledge the importance of transparency in their production operations, they have also begun to understand the benefits of knowing the status of objects and tracking parts, which in turn help save time and costs. Some of the benefits include the elimination of errors, automatic documentation and traceability, faster production steps, elimination of damage, process flexibility, and more.
For engine manufacturers in the automotive industry, there are several applications for them to utilize RFID technology in. When they are matching parts such as an engine block, for instance, manufacturers can save time during the stacking process by knowing ahead of time which parts fit together.
In the appliance industry, contract manufacturers benefit from RFID, particularly when combining multiple products on a single line. The identification information moves with the product to be able to constantly validate the kind of work being performed for that particular product.