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Future Scenarios Of Car Manufacturing

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Future scenario of car menuAssembly and manufacturing of configurable products are supply chain activities that offer much potential for the use of RFID. RFID tags can be used in a manufacturing setting to identify the product that is being assembled, as well as the constituent parts that are to be installed into the product. At the time of assembly, it is then possible to do an instant check to ascertain what parts need to be installed in the product, and whether the parts that are installed are the correct parts. Thus, RFID has a role in assuring the quality of the end product. This benefit is particularly valuable if the product is highly customizable.

The benefit from an introduction of RFID in this scenario is two-fold: On the one hand, there are the labor savings from automating the scanning/identification of chassis and parts, and  on the other hand, there are the savings in rework cost due to fewer assembly errors. Ford Motor Co. has been using RFID tags for this purpose in their facility in Cuautitlan in Mexico as well as in US facilities for a number of years (Johnson 2002). In Ford’s implementation, an RFID tag is attached to each car’s chassis skid. The tag indicates via its serial number, which parts and options are to be installed on that particular chassis. As the chassis moves from one assembly station to the next, RFID readers read the chassis’ assembly requirements automatically so that the correct parts can be installed without the need for error-prone manual barcode scanning. “Error-prone” here refers for example to the case of a worker scanning the wrong tag, or a worker scanning the tag on one part, but then erroneously installing a different part. Gaukler and Hausman (2005) study a similar RFID scenario based on an implementation at a European car manufacturer. They present several net present value evaluations of a move from barcoding technology to an RFID implementation in such an assembly environment and provide an algorithm to determine an optimal RFID rollout schedule. Further analysis of RFID opportunities in the automotive sector is given for example in Strassner and Fleisch (2003). It is expected that similar benefits can be realized in other, non-automotive, complex assembly processes that consist of a large amount of manual labor with a high probability of assembling incorrect parts. Examples of this would be the assembly of medical devices and aircraft.

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Application & Solutions Application Car manufacturing Future Scenarios Of Car Manufacturing

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