Today’s automotive production is already a highly automated business where reliable automatic identiﬁcation of components and sub-components enables an even higher level of automation and ﬂexibility. With the integration of advanced robotics and material-handling systems with the power of the auto-identiﬁcation of car parts using RFID, a more agile and automated assembly operation can be achieved for the automotive industry. To enhance the agility of automotive assembly, the incorporation of RFID tags in car components and accessories can greatly facilitate a desired mix, given the diverse speciﬁcation of these components and sub-components. For the many different models of automobile that are being assembled along the same production line, RFID tags attached to the car components and sub-components are programmed with their respective recipe information. As these components travel through the assembly process, the production information is obtained by RFID readers to enable workers to perform the required operations. The new status can also be updated on the RFID tags that are attached to the components and sub-components before going to subsequent assembly stages. Before the parts are assembled or leave the production line, information stored can be veriﬁed for quality assurance. With such ﬂexibility in part speciﬁcation and tracking, the concept of a fully ﬂexible manufacturing system can be readily realized without the need to separate and batch the production operation, which is well suited to the automotive industry.
Moreover, the information stored and captured by the RFID tags that is associated with the components and subcomponents can be relayed to other systems of the assembly plants, including the inventory, warehousing, and quality assurance. It is expected that with the appropriate deployment of RFID technology, signiﬁcant time and cost saving can be achieved.
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