RFID technology enters cars. German ones. The idea has been developed by researchers from the German study centre Fraunhofer, which gathers 60 applied research institutions and specialises in industrial operations and automation. To optimize vehicle manufacturing, the test phases before vehicle delivery to car dealers and, in general, to reduce the margin of error, the researchers have tested a radio frequency identification system on some vehicle parts.
At the basis of this test lies the need to find a quick solution to employees’ manual and routine scanning, via barcode readers, of safety-related parts, which are often hardly indistinguishable and which comply with European standards.
The solution? To apply RFID tags to some parts - seats and mirrors, for example - which can provide abundant information, including the vehicle on which a part is to be installed.
Unlike barcodes that have to be read one by one, RFID tags can all be read at the same time: this means that not only can information be retrieved at any given time during the assembly process, but also that controls can be carried out step after step, and thus not necessarily during final inspection.
The first tests have been performed in the factory of Mercedes-Benz Vans in Ludwigsfelde, near Berlin.