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RFID and the Automotive Industry: Competing at a Higher Level

Innovation is taking place in every area of the industry, and one particular aspect of this innovation is radio frequency identification.
By Andre Gwilliam
Dec 13, 2017

The automotive industry has become more and more innovative throughout the last decade. On the face of things, we are seeing smart new digital and engineering technology being integrated into the products being developed. Look a little deeper, however, and it is clear that innovation is taking place in every area of the industry, and one particular aspect of this innovation is RFID technology.

Radio Frequency Identification Technology
Radio frequency identification (RFID) is an advanced tagging technology that allows companies to keep track of items and products that are used in manufacturing and retail. The technology works along similar lines to bar codes: individual items are tagged with an electromagnetic chip, and then their location can be monitored using specific RFID software.

This technology is being used widely in the automotive industry to increase performance and efficiency, and also as a way to enhance health and safety protocols and bolster security. Globalization has led to increased competition in the automotive industry, with countries such as China looking for a slice of the action, and so manufacturers will use any method possible to get ahead of the game. What follows is an overview of how they are using RFID to help them compete at a higher level.

The Supply Chain
RFID technology can be employed to help make the supply chain more efficient. Tagging parts prior to shipment enables the receiving of items to be automated; this is quicker and the margin for error is dramatically reduced. Plus, if there have been mistakes on the part of the supplier, it makes these easier to identify and to rectify.

Factory Tracking
The modern automotive factory or assembly plant can be an enormous entity and needs to be carefully managed to work at its optimum level. RFID technology means that every single item can be accounted for at all times. For example, if a single item or a consignment of goods is lost or mislaid, an RIFD system can pinpoint its location in real time and correct the error.

In addition, an RFID system can be programmed to make sure parts and components are where they need to be, when they need to be there. Items can be delivered to the production line in advance of their requirement, which means that the production line never has to stop while it waits for parts to arrive.

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