The term ‘Industry 4.0’ refers to the 4th industrial revolution and the implementation of the Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) in factories.
A virtual copy of the monitored physical processes is created to automate and control the production, via the means provided by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of Services (IoS).
The key application areas for Industry 4.0, which RAIN RFID and NFC are the driver technologies, can be easily categorized in:
Automotive and Industrial Production
Production control, traceability along the supply chain, brand protection for spare parts, consumer interactions, easy machinery maintenance and part replacement.
Electronics PCB tagging
Production control, traceability along the supply chain, brand protection, activation of new services (e.g. in-store activation, recycling, warranty information, maintenance reporting, language setting, operating parameter setting …), easy machinery replacement.
NFC and RFID recommended products for Industry 4.0
- UHF – UCODE: ICs offer high anti-collision rates and long operating distances, up to 15 meters, meaning this product is the best choice for production control, logistics and supply chain management.
- HF – ICODE: ICs operate up to 1.5 meter, meaning that the real product benefits can be found in consumer engagement and brand protection use cases and by enabling the activation of new services and features.
Industry 4.0 Application Benefits
- High production efficiency
- Increased production flexibility allowing superior customization
- Activation of CPS (Cyber Physical System) – Self Optimization, Configuration and Diagnosis
- Improved consumer experience and brand interaction
- Improved inventory accuracy
- Increased sales because of the higher product visibility and availability
- Proof of authenticity
RFID Features Benefiting Application
- Unique serial number identification
- Ability to store and modify data
- Write speed
- Fast scanning, up to 300 tags per second
- No line-of-sight required
- On chip security
- Kill command for privacy protection
- Easy integration into PCBs
Improved production flexibility and efficiency
When RFID becomes part of a production line, the individual parts communicate with the machinery through the means of the Internet of Things, creating secure, smart and connected CPS.
The guaranteed automation of the new systems is reflected all along the supply chain, leading to more efficient, flexible and streamlined optimized processes. This allows for a productive use of all the factory resources and a significant reduction of failures and errors.
Improved traceability and inventory accuracy throughout the supply chain
RFID tags simplify and speed up tracking of products in the various production steps. Each tag is uniquely identifiable through the item-level serialized number, and by being scanned and registered automatically with the means of for example, a tunnel scanner or manually in the production lines.
As every item is uniquely identified it is extremely easy to determine its production details such as lot number, production date / time, its location and its inventory of goods in stock. This also allows fast inventory checks, optimized delivery processes and the identification of affected goods in case of quality issues.
All related information (Big Data) is stored in a database on a local or cloud based server, meaning that company resources can access the same dataset. It is also possible to instantly develop reports and KPIs so that management can quickly react to every occurring situation and take more responsible business decisions.
Increased consumer interaction
The biggest challenge of brand owners is to increase sales and consumer loyalty. In this context, the NFC technology allows the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to ensure a flexible production, increasing the product gamma and offering unique consumer services and by that improving the brand positioning in the market.
With a simple tap, the end consumer will be able to check the products authenticity and to enter in a new virtual world that the brand can shape, developing:
- Compelling applications around the brand
- Loyalty programs
- Easy to access information
- And many more…