HOW ARE RFID TAGS USED IN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY?
RFID tags and labels are widely used by manufactures and with Industry 4.0 pushing the implementation of new, digital technologies, we are seeing more companies introducing RFID into their processes, including product tracking, asset management and personnel tracking.
The automotive companies have been among the first to adopt RFID throughout many parts of both their production and distribution chains, and this technology is bringing them effective value, by increasing performances and efficiency and enhancing health and safety protocols.
RFID BY CAR MANUFACTURERS
The automotive manufacturers employ RFID to track the components which are required for assembly, from individual parts to finished vehicles.
RFID tags are currently used to control all process steps and also to control the manufacturing tools used during production: knowing where each is located at any given time reduces the incidence of thefts and misplacements of these expensive tools.
In addition, RFID can track vehicles after they’ve been assembled: each unique RFID serial number includes the vehicle’s manufacturing history, thus facilitating any needed rework, and it’s used to ensure shipping to the correct destination.
RFID BY CAR DEALERS
Auto dealers use this technology to track their inventory of vehicles for sale. Dealers can utilize RFID to track every movement of the cars in their inventory, as well as post-sale in their service departments.
A combination of manual and automatic RFID readers at multiple checkpoints allows real time inventory, tracking the location of any vehicle to a certain space on the lot, thus speeding up retrieval and simplifies check out vehicles for customer test drives and deliveries.
Dealerships also use RFID to make vehicle service more efficient and improve customer relationship: when a tag is affixed to a car, the dealer knows the customer has arrived for a service appointment, staff members may be alerted and provided with real-time information about the customer, the car and its past service history.
This allows for more personalized greetings and eliminates the need to ask questions and enter information manually, which speeds up the check-in process and provides more accurate information.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DRIVERS OF RFID ADOPTION IN AUTOMOTIVE?
The automotive industry is always struggling with increasing competition, leading to higher cost pressures and the demand to optimize production processes and value chains: here is where RFID technology can play a role by providing more detailed control and improving operating efficiency.
Suppliers implementing RFID can gain an early mover competitive advantage by developing higher trust in their relationship with manufacturers.
This technology can be also used for process optimization in existing reverse logistics processes and can therefore improve the recycling rate of waste materials that come back for recycling, due to lower logistics costs.
Another important driver is the ability to bring innovative services to customers: major car manufacturers are using RFID technology out of production and distribution to identify and track vehicles in the market. Being able to identify any vehicle makes it easier to service it, to build a service history and to add customized services.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS?
We already mentioned that main benefits are efficiency and control: RFID tags provide a more accurate and efficient way to read product serial numbers and data and free employees from routine tasks.
Along the supply chain, tagging components prior to shipment enables the receiving of items to be automated: the process runs quicker, with less errors and even in case of mistakes the wrong items can be easily identified and replaced.
During production, thanks to RFID systems, every single item can be accounted for at all time: parts and components are where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be used or even in advance, so that lines never stop. If something goes lost or mislaid an RFID system can pinpoint its location in real time and amend the error.
In case of customization RFID helps to direct the correct components to the right models: this reduces errors and helps to reduce costly delays.
RFID boosts process reliability in manufacturing and the ability to read all the tags at one time is a crucial advantage as it simultaneously provides part installation verification.
During shipping, the management of cars within a batch is made quicker and easier even if batches may hold thousands of vehicles: when needed a car with RFID tag can be identified instantly.
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