Due to the increasing cost of operation, manufacturers and contract manufacturers are searching for new ways to reduce costs and optimize their operations. Across the supply chain new technology implementation has been a cost saving solution, and it is no different for manufacturing operations. A lot of this growth can be associated to the adoption of RFID networks throughout the supply chain. These wireless networks are being implemented to act as “intelligent monitoring systems” that provide detailed track and trace functionality from manufacture to end consumer stages of the supply chain.

To make RFID a more viable solution for manufacturers, changes have been made to handle their extreme operating environments. New and improved radio frequency tags were designed that can withstand extreme heat and cold, high pressures, hazardous locations and extreme moisture levels. With these improvements also came cost reductions as adoption started to increase on a much larger scale.

Functions of RFID in manufacturing:
Inventory Traceability – Tagging components, WIP and finished products with RFID tags provides real time visibility into manufacturing operations and provides manufacturing operators with continuous data flow to improve decision making.

Equipment Tracking & Monitoring Using RFID –Placing RFID tags on this equipment helps to locate lost or misplaced assets needed for production setup and execution.

Production Scheduling – Manufacturers are also using RFID to identify idle equipment. This helps them to increase asset utilization by more effectively scheduling production.

Monitor Waste & Shrinkage – Tagging component inventory, WIP and finished goods helps manufacturers to monitor waste levels from production lines and possible sources of internal theft or loss.

Reduce Carrying Costs – RFID implementation improves data accuracy, allowing manufacturers to implement JIT inventory management strategies. This helps to reduce inventory carrying costs as items are replenished as needed rather than kept on hand in large quantities.

Shipment Routing – RFID tags can carry data related to predetermine shipping routes. As production is completed this data can be used to assist in staging outgoing shipments. This data accessibility expedites the shipping process and reduces required labor.

Labor Tracking & Security – Radio frequency identification can also be used to track and manage staff activity. RFID badges can be used for granting access to restricted zones and track employees productivity as they move throughout the facility.

Machinery Integration – In some cases manufacturers are using RFID to help control and monitor large machinery activity. In this type of scenario RFID is integrated with machinery control systems.

Learn more about uses for RFID in manufacturing by contacting Datex experts today at marketing@datexcorp.com or 800.933.2839 ext 243.

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