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Going Green With Logistics

New cars are featuring the same HF RFID technology that other industries are using. Spare parts are being tracked using the same RFID technology. How could the introduction of car ID tags help the manufacturing industry? The distribution process? Or even the level of customer service?

But this brings to surface the question of whether o use HF tags or the use UHF tags.

One of the biggest differences between using the HF tags to ID a car compared to the UHF tags is the distance it can read. Standard HF tags can be read up for twenty inches away while a UHF tag can be read up to thirty three feet away. But of course that is just present day. As developments continue this might change drastically tomorrow or next year.

New cars are using HF RFID technology for the purpose of locking cars or locking tires. They are placed there for a specific purpose—and that purpose is often customer convenience. HF tags are used for identifying cars while they are on the assembly line but since that is their only purpose they are disposed of after use.

“Smart cars” often have a UHF RFID tag which contains identification information and are called “car ID”. Some spare parts are tagged using the UHF tags for reasons of logistics and assembly but in this case we are referring to tagging cars much the same as a registration plate does. The idea of “car ID” can be used throughout the life of a car by all involved parties including:

Of course all of these groups would use them in different ways.

Enhancing Production

The moment an empty car shell reaches the assembly line it can be equipped with the “car ID” through an UHF RFID tag. The tag can then follow each car through the stages of production. At the end it can be permanently attached to part of the license plate or the windshield.

Car manufacturers often provide their customers with customized solutions for each vehicle; the customer checks off the special features they want from a list pertaining to interior designs or engine parts. It is often difficult for companies to keep track of these requirements throughout the production of the vehicle and it results in many errors. Car manufacturers are also facing problems ensuring that the appropriate tools are in place for specific cars on the assembly line. The process of streamlining production has resulted in a high amount of errors and delays—all of which are costly.

In 2009 BMW employed the use of “car ID” tags to solve the aforementioned problems. This solution reported a reduction in production errors and reduced manufacturing costs.

The UHF RFID tags have already been put to use for tracing spare parts through the distribution and supply chain by companies such as Porsche and Renault as well as Volkswagen. Renault stated that the incorporation of RFID technology reduced work time and improved the traceability of assets. It also helped to streamline the transport process and optimize planning.

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