Can we utilize the technology right up to the point of service calls?
It would be difficult to answer that question in a lot of depth without knowing more about your operations, but in general, I would say that you should be able to use RFID to track refrigerators as they work their way down an assembly line. This would tell you how long each unit spent at each station along the line. If you had multiple lines, you would be able to determine the optimal time at each station, and be able to retrain workers who took longer than others to do the same job.
You would also likely be able to tag parts or parts bins. This would ensure that the correct parts were being delivered to the line at the proper time, freeing up space on the manufacturing floor and reducing production delays.
For service calls, repair people would be able to read a refrigerator's tag and obtain the exact specifications of that unit, along with the serial numbers of each part that went into it. This would enable you to ascertain if an unauthorized report that might void the warrantee had been made. You might also be able to leverage the repair data to find out if a particular part from a specific supplier was failing, for example.
Here are a couple of articles that might be relevant:
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal