Production lines are an extremely important aspect of the manufacturing industry. Not only do they dictate the success of a manufacturing plant, but they also determine whether a certain item or product can sufficiently be stocked by resellers. If a production line cannot keep up with demand, prices rise and products can even fall out of fashion. It is, therefore, important for manufacturers to optimise their production lines. One of the ways that one can do this, is by implementing a smart shelf solution within the manufacturing warehouse.
In this article, we will discuss and explore the benefits that RFID technology can have on production lines, and which RFID technology is utilised in these smart shelf solutions.
The Benefits of RFID Technology in Production Lines
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) can have many applications within a production line and provide manufacturers with a variety of benefits that will ultimately optimise their production line. Some of these benefits include:
- Increased Traceability: It is exceptionally important to always know where every product, piece of inventory, and material component required on a production line is located. This will prevent long searches when components are required and will ensure that there are fewer discrepancies in stock and production. Therefore, there will be a higher level of availability and fewer errors during production
- Improved Efficiency: RFID will enable a certain degree of automation. Therefore, employees will no longer have to manually input data which will save precious time that could rather be spent on the production line. This automatic recording of product, material, and equipment data will also reduce the risk of human error.
- Better Supply Chain Management: The greater level of visibility provided by RFID technology will help optimise the supply chain within the manufacturing process and beyond. Therefore, one will be able to track production times, completed products, shipments, and the entire flow, from manufacturing to product delivery.
- Increased Quality Control: RFIDS technology will be able to assist in quality control. Depending on the system one has installed, it can record data pertinent to the quality of the manufacturing process. Something as simple as the temperature within the warehouse can affect the quality of the manufacturing of certain products. RFID technology will ensure that one identifies such issues quickly, as the data is delivered in real-time. Therefore, one will be able to rectify such issues efficiently.
- Cost-Efficient: An RFID system is relatively cost-effective to install and will yield multiple financial benefits. No more, batches of products have to be discarded due to low quality, there will be a reduced amount of stock loss due to shrinkage, and production lines should function more optimally allowing for a higher level of turnover.
RFID Technology for Smart Shelf Solutions
There are a few basic components that need to be purchased and implemented in order for a manufacturing company to effectively implement RFID technology solutions.
An RFID encoder can encode RFID tags to attach to products, materials, and equipment. These tags can also be encoded to provide pertinent information about these items. This can include colour, age, and more.
Scanners are handheld devices that can be used to upload information contained on the tag to the cloud. Therefore, the scanner can quickly and easily “read” information on the tag and provide an employee with accurate information about the item(s) in question once scanned.
An RFID reader is a device that contains one or more antennas. This device can send and receive signals to and from a tag. The signal sent to the tag, activates the tag and enables it to send information back to the reader, which will then be displayed to the user. Information that can be provided includes location, number of specific items in stock, and more.
We at Milestone Integrated Systems, specialise in RFID technology and can assist you in optimising your production line by making use of RFID-enabled smart shelf solutions and more.
Contact us at Milestone to find out more!