Incorporating Radio Frequency Identification into the Production Line for Work Flow Improvement

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Author(s) Andrew Mc Clintock  |  Charles Young   |   Kevin Curran   | Dennis McKeag   | Gavin Killeen   |
Pages 33-60
Volume 1
Issue 1
Date October, 2011
Keywords RFID, Lean manufacturing, location tracking, production

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can be used in many different applications. There are numerous instances of RFID being used in everyday life. For instance, anyone who works in a secure office, goes to university, drives a car with an immobiliser or parks in a secure car park. Other scenarios include the tracking of animals in the farming industry when cattle and sheep need to be identified by the farmer. Another instance where RFID can be used, is in the manufacturing industry. Tags can be attached to items that are moving through the factory on conveyer belts or being moved around by staff on trucks or forklifts. As the tags move around the factory floor or the warehouse they pass by readers and the tags can be then tracked using intelligent software and database application. In fact, radio Frequency Identification systems are becoming more and more embedded in the supply chain. Tracking goods in the work place has been identified as one area where production can be improved. In fact, in almost all non “green field” modern manufacturing facilities, there are work flow process systems that can be improved to reduce the overall work load and increase the total work throughput. This project will look at a “real life” manufacturing facility, assess its current work flow process, evaluate them against industries best practices and seek to integrate RFID to help stream line work flow. After assessment, the RFID solution will be implemented to tackle the highlighted areas. This will be achieved by understanding the client’s current situation, industrial best practices and how RFID technology can be implemented now and modified in the future to continue to maximize efficiency. The expected outcome of the research is that RFID can contribute to modern work flow systems, however all systems will be inevitably based on a software database, and it will be how the RFID technology is used to create additional database entries and manipulate or link existing data that will see its true value.  

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