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Daimler Sees Potential Benefits of Using RFID to Track Quality-Control

Having completed several successful test deployments, the carmaker is now in the process of installing RTLS hardware and passive EPC tags across one of its plant's quality-assurance areas.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
During the proof-of-concept testing, each of the 12 inlays was placed on an S-Class vehicle within the quality-assurance area, and the Mojix reader and antennas were installed near a small lot of parking spaces. Ultimately, Werthmann reported, the companies narrowed the 12 inlays down to the three top performers: Alien Technology's Squiggle tag, and Avery Dennison's AD843 and AD222 models.

In order to mimic real-world scenarios, the companies tested the process of reading the passive tags while car doors were opened and closed; while a vehicle was in motion or up on a lift; while workers used other electronic equipment, such as testing equipment, operating at the same radio frequency (868 MHz); and while using RFID equipment operating at that frequency. Of all these scenarios, only other RFID equipment operating at the same frequency as the tested tags proved to interfere with readings.

"We've told Mojix about this," Werthmann said, "and they tell us they are working on [the interference problems]."

The firms tested various tag placements as well, Werthmann noted, and found that the best placement for a tag was on the back of the rearview mirror—specifically, on the mirror's plastic casing that faces the windshield.

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