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Smart Vehicle Manufacturing: End-to-End RFID Automotive Solutions

  • Abhishek Shukla
  • Jul 27, 2023
  • RFID
RFID Automotive Solutions

In a 360 automotive manufacturing unit, running the entire manufacturing operations is a task that requires calibrations and collaborations (via use of cyber physical systems). It requires all units to work together and more importantly, flexibility. When you are mass producing something that is going to serve the masses, two things are of utmost importance, first one being no room for errors and second being on-time production and delivery. Automotive industry uses various times tested methods to ensure manufacturing operations are optimized and there are minimum defects, say 3.4 per 1,000,000 units. Methods such as Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen are adopted to ensure that improvement is part of the day-to-day operations. RFID, a wireless AIDC technology can play a great role here, complementing the existing methods.

As a technology, RFID is now being widely adopted in various businesses for various applications but at the core, it is an AIDC technology capable of wireless automatic identification and data capture. The technology has been existed for over 70 years but the commercial success is new. Even in the 1970s and then 90s, the technology use military and agricultural use (tracking cattle) but between 1999 and 2003, with the MIT Auto ID-centre (it created EPC), RFID technology saw commercial adoption in retail and manufacturing and automation sector. With the development in internet technologies, RFID along with IoT saw more growth in next decade.

From Manufacturing to After-Production and After-Sales: RFID Applications in Automotive Industry

The RFID tagging of auto parts and tools enables full visibility, right from the early production stage to final delivery of the vehicle. The term smart manufacturing has been widely used in industry 4.0 era that signifies a complete automation and interoperability of things, collaboration and data sharing between manufacturing units, men and machines. Use of technology has been greatly emphasized here and data has become the kernel of every operation.

The automotive industry has been one of the early adopters of Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology in their operations. Since its initial application in the manufacturing process, RFID has been used in the automotive industry, be it production or after-sales services. It has proven to be beneficial for players throughout the supply chain, including manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, and end-users.

According to a research done by Deloitte, smart manufacturing factories while using RAIN RFID benefit greatly in terms of cost reduction. There’s a significant cut in maintenance and planning time (20-50% of time reduction), 5 to 10 percent costs saving in material and equally in overall maintenance costs.

RAIN RFID tags with large memory are also available at present allowing businesses to encode more data about parts and the manufacturing process involved as the EPC memory tags are only helpful if the identification code is integrated with the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and detailed information is accessed through the cloud (storage).

RFID in Automotive Manufacturing

Manufacturing being the first step, RFID is vital here. In the manufacturing process, RFID technology is used to monitor the supply chain's movement to ensure production runs smoothly, and parts availability meets the demand. Tool tracking using UHF RFID tags and UHF RFID Reader is of great use as it brings down the downtime and enhances productivity. A complete visibility on tools enhances productivity and RFID offers great accuracy for that.

A WSJ report highlights that unplanned downtime due to unplanned repairs and inoperative equipments costs around 50B USD to industrial manufacturers annually.

RFID also helps in managing inventory and scheduling production, preventing delays, and minimizing unscheduled downtime. Additionally, RFID technology helps in the tracking of raw materials, work-in-progress (WIP), and finished goods, ensuring they reach their destinations on time. Apart from that, Returnable Transport Items (RTIs) such as bins and crates that are used to store automotive parts can also be RFID tagged and tracked throughout the manufacturing facility and the supply chain as well. It also ensures accountability on the suppliers’ part and ensures that parts reach manufacturing facilities on time.

After production, RFID technology continues to offer significant value to the industry, with more applications in the logistics and supply chain management sector. RFID tags assist in tracking shipments and products, determining their locations and reducing the possibility of theft or loss during transit. RFID technology also assists in the optimization of routes, reducing delays and associated costs as it provides you real-time data on vehicle movement and helps you generate insights and patterns for data backed decision making.

 RFID in After-sales

After-sales services represent an expanding field for RFID applications in the automotive industry. RFID enables dealers and service centers to manage customer data better. Such data includes the customer's information, like maintenance records, warranty information, and vehicle identification. It allows companies to deliver excellent customer services, reduce wait times, and streamline appointments.

Besides customer service, RFID technology significantly helps vehicle inspections, maintenance, and repairs. RFID tags embedded in engines and tires provide information that can help mechanics diagnose mechanical problems swiftly. The technology can also alert the service centre or dealership if the vehicle's scheduled maintenance is due, reducing the possibility of costly engine breakdowns and unscheduled downtime.

Another advantage of RFID technology in automotive industry is elimination of theft and counterfeit parts, ensuring customer safety and enhanced customer experience. With RFID tags embedded in tires and other parts of the vehicles, companies can ensure that parts are genuine and replace defected parts on time.


The RFID technology continues to evolve even now and the deployment costs are coming down fast, so it is playing increasingly crucial roles in automotive sales and service while being cost-effective. It offers many benefits such as operational efficiency, reduced expenses, improved customer satisfaction, and sustainability throughout the supply chain. With continued advancements in RFID, we can expect even more widespread RFID adoption in the automotive industry in the future.

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  • Created on Jul 27, 2023
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