- A Honda plant in Greensburg, IN is employing RFID to locate vehicles and track their progress through its assembly plant, RFID Journal reported Tuesday. Vehicles within the plant are outfitted with the technology, as is the gate, enabling easy immediate location.
- The Greensburg plant produces 1,0000 vehicles per day. Honda's intent in deploying RFID technology in 2015 was to ease the process of locating vehicles, individually and en masse.
- Every new vehicle receives a passive RFID tag. Data from the tag is noted throughout the vehicle's manufacture to track location. Since going live, Honda reports that costs and efficiency have improved. A further use for the RFID in use at the Greensburg plant will result in the optimization of logistics.
Honda's use of RFID technology is a case study in how real-time tracking information can help increase efficiency in operations and inventory management, beyond its use in retail and warehousing.
RFID comes in two types: passive and active. While Honda chose the passive method, which operates without an internal power source and therefore requires an external reader, it's desirable for use on a large scale, such as tracking a high number of vehicles. Active RFID, on the other hand, use tags powered by batteries that broadcast a signal, and are often used as beacons. Their range is long, but they're pricey, and rarely employed en masse.
Both however, are highly suitable for increasing transparency within the supply chain, where objects that make up a whole, whether by piece or by order, need to be traced. Inventory availability can be immediately "read," improving speed and efficiency.
RFIDs also function well in complex production environments, as the technology is generally contained within a special capsule-like coating. In addition, the ability to track items that require complex or even dangerous conditions also reportedly increases staff safety, since tracking can occur from a moderate distance and outside a line of direct sight.