With the increasing competition and increasing cost of operation, manufacturers are always on the lookout for ways to reduce cost and optimize operation. A modern and radical approach to this is the incorporation of RFID technology in manufacturing. Most people think that the only way to use RFID in the manufacturing process is in the context of automation, but that is far from the truth. This is a technology that can work for you throughout the entire manufacturing process. Let us walk through a couple of ways in which RFID can be your best employee.
Inventory is a very crucial step of manufacturing. With the tedious and time consuming process of manual inventory, the scope for human error is always present, making you more likely to bloat the warehouse due to an inaccurate view of the warehouse stock and a sense of the most selling items. Passive RFID tags can solve this problem making the whole process smooth and eliminating unnecessary costs.
At the very end of the manufacturing process, when the product is ready for sale, stock taking also be simplified in the same way, through RFID, while also making the process of locating said product in the warehouse a piece of cake.
One of the most stressing aspects of manufacturing is probably security. With RFID tags monitoring the entry and exit of each employee within your manufacturing plant, you can allocate your energy to other things rather than worrying about unauthorized personnel in your warehouse. This also creates a clear checkpoint and a channel of accountability so that if there is an error somewhere along the way, the production process can be reanalyzed exactly where the error occurred and the responsible person can be retrained, rather than the entire process coming to a grinding stop in the usual blind call.
RFID technology also ensures human safety where automation is not practical. RFID enabled safety harnesses and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ensures that each person working is accounted for and also informs the user of any error that may result in serious bodily harm.
An aspect of security checks that affects the end product and eventually the consumer is quality control. The most obvious application for RFID, of course, is in situations where the checks would have to be made in extreme and hazardous conditions. There are RFID tags now that can function in almost any condition making them a logical solution since they also eliminate human error as an added bonus. Getting immediate information about imperceptible changes in the state of production and being able to test work in progress may, in fact, be the difference between a stressful manufacturing process with an uncertain outcome and a perfect system that gives a consistent result.
Of course, the actual process of production can also be maneuvered with ease via the use of RFID. The adaptability of RFID systems ensures that they can be used at multiple stages in the production process, from supervising operations in extreme conditions to storing information that can then be used to optimize the production process or even introducing flexibility to an automated assembly line of production in case of customized products.
There are, of course, myriad specific uses for RFID that can be applied to your particular production design to make it a well-oiled machine (quite literally in the case of RFID enhancing equipment efficiency). You can gain access to all of these and more when you start looking at each problem as an opportunity. Introduce RFID into your manufacturing process to perfect the course of action.