Why is RFID the next big thing in manufacturing?

Published September 27, 2021, 8:08 AM

by MB Technews

The country’s manufacturing sector has undergone significant changes in the past few years. Amid the ever-changing digital world, manufacturing organizations leaned on automation to enable innovation, faster go-to-market, and profitability.

In 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated further this digital transformation. Transformational digital technologies, adoption of safety measures, and new workflows and setups emerged as a lifeline for many manufacturers. These factors allow them to automate operations, shore up supply chains, anticipate increasing customer demands, and safeguard employees against COVID-19.

As organizations have already adjusted their operations amid the new normal, the country’s manufacturing conditions are now starting to rebound more than a year into the pandemic.

Towards the end of the second quarter, the manufacturing index for June settled at 50.8 from 49.9 in May, according to the IHS Markit Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) report. Since the score is above 50, it indicates improvement of the sector instead of a score lower than 50, reflecting deterioration.

Harnessing the Power of Data

Experts also believe that the country’s manufacturing sector will continue to recover, particularly as the pandemic matures and eventually pass. However, manufacturing firms must keep up with increasing customer demands and navigating any unforeseen obstacles to sustain this recovery.

“If there is a lesson we have learned over the past year, it’s that business must be able to move fast to keep up with the changing pace of demands. So, manufacturers must be prepared for whatever comes their way. Factories must get smarter and drive resilience with their most powerful form of defense, which is data,” said Raul “Cricket” Santiago, the president and CEO of Fujitsu Philippines.

Data-driven manufacturing is deemed the next wave that will drive operations to become more efficient and responsive. Manufacturers are also better positioned to incorporate data into their daily decision-making activities in a meaningful and productive way.

RFID tech in manufacturing

One specific technology that manufacturers use that involves their data is radio frequency identification (RFID). Prompted by the boom of the Internet of Things (IoT), RFID has become a must-have tracking technology for manufacturers that rely heavily on their assets.

As an automatic identification technology, it encodes digital data in an RFID tag or “smart label” and is captured by a reader using radio waves. These tags can be read using handheld or mobile readers, shelf or tabletop readers, and other readers that can be installed at doorways or in portal configurations.

Santiago noted that RFID technology could provide numerous benefits for manufacturers, particularly when it comes to warehouse logistics and plant floor and field/delivery operations. RFID systems significantly streamline inventory and asset tracking, virtually eliminating human error while providing instant, detailed records of the movement of assets.

The technology also helps improve the quality and transparency of data across the supply chain. It also makes it easier to implement flexible manufacturing processes, increase the accuracy of and reduce the time spent taking inventories, and enhance efficiency while cutting down on rework.

Fujitsu Philippines are now utilizing this technology to help manufacturers in the country. The company’s Asset Tracking and Inventory Management solutions offering, which use RFID technology, helps monitor all parts and products that move in and out of their customer’s manufacturing facilities. It can also provide other insights that can help improve further the manufacturing operations.

To learn more about Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., visit its website at https://www.fujitsu.com/ph/.