In a increasingly globalized world, the competition increases from international companies. More production is moved outside of domestic borders due to reduced costs. At the same time, there is a need for Norwegian companies to reduce labor costs. By Norway possessing a high technological level among its workers, and technology being a measure to reduce labor costs, the justification for doing research on digitalization in the Norwegian industry is given.
Auto-ID technology, for example Radio Frequency Identification, has the ability to capture data in a real time manner. This can support production planning and control, enabling fast dealing of deviations in production. It can also facilitate the automation of manual tasks to reduce labor costs. However, there is a lack of research on RFID being applied in facility process management. This gap is addressed in this research. The objective of this study is to investigate benefits and drawbacks to RFID technology in the area of facility process management. This research will do so by illustrating how a Norwegian company can benefit from RFID technology in production control. Hence, the research aim of this research is to investigate how RFID can support production control.
The research applies a design science research approach. An approach focusing on "improving the present", that based on a theoretical- and a practical component. The theoretical component is solved by performing a structured literature study on RFID technology. The practical component is solved through designing an RFID system for implementation at the production facility of Pipelife Norge AS in Surnadal.
The study as been able to propose an RFID system for Pipelife Norge AS, where their current challenges was addressed. In addition, the main benefits and challenges to RFID technology was identified. The benefits were identified to be autonomous registration and identification in real-time, simultaneously registering of multiple units, no need for line-of-sight. The challenges can be separated in two categories: strategic and technical challenges. Strategic challenges include the three "High problems". Technical challenges include interference and the use of different languages across different RFID-systems.
The identified benefits RFID has the potential to support decision-making by providing the decision maker with the current status of the system, hence providing a better foundation in which decisions are based on. RFID technology can also automate manual tasks, especially registering tasks. The use of RFID technology may illustrate an emerging shift in focus for production planners from planning towards production control.
For researchers, this research serves as a collection of the most relevant research within the topic. The main benefits and challenges are identified and summarized. This can serve are a basis of doing deductive research on the mechanisms producing these outcomes.
However, there is a limitation in that human factors is excluded from this study. Technical aspects are also only briefly discussed. Therefore, the topic need further research in RFID in regards of these aspects.
For practitioners, this research has showed how a Norwegian pipe manufacturer can apply00 RFID to their production facility to solve some of their challenges. The research also show how RFID technology can create new opportunities for companies. The study has also highlighted the major benefits and drawbacks to RFID-technology, illustrating the major decisions that has to be assessed when considering RFID.
The originality of this research is that it address the gap in literature, where it was identified a need for more research in the application of RFID in facility process management. It also provide a real life example of how RFID can be used.
Radio frequency identification; RFID; Auto-ID; Production Control||en