Production & Logistics
RFID tags can be attached to material and products for identification but also to monitor the processes throughout the entire supply chain from the raw material (incoming goods), through the production process, until the end customer (outgoing goods). An RFID portal contains a reader (PC or PLC integrated) and four antennas. The goods get automatically detected while crossing the portal and the MES and ERP systems are automatically updated. A real world application is a Tier 1 supplier that has to ship the right material at the right time to the manufacturer otherwise high fees get charged.
Food & Beverage
RFID tags affixed to the carrier/vessel or manufactured component itself can contain structured memory regions holding any manner of complex data. An RFID system thus can serve as a powerful mechanism for gathering decision-making data. This data upon receipt in the organization’s host application becomes valuable grist for a venerable mill of work-in-process (WIP) improvement decisions.
In a real-world example involving a beverage WIP tracking: Containers containing a WIP beverage enter in from the warehouse and are directed to a specific process line. These full containers are automatically identified via RFID, weighed and emptied according to the amount specified on the RFID tag. Material loss is also accounted for. If the container is damaged, the RFID data is updated and consequently triggers a Reject. At the filling station, the RFID data automatically informs the JIT recipe management system of the required beverage, then after filling, consequently updates the weight data on the RFID tag and informs the forklift driver where to store it in the warehouse.