There are two main area of applications, defined broadly as proximity (short range) and vicinity (long range).
Long range or vicinity applications can generally be described as track and trace applications, but the technology provides additional functionality and benefits for product authentication.
RFID enables greater automation of data collection process. Most companies spend considerable effort in knowing whats in their warehouse. RFID will help them dig deeper and much more easily, tracking to the detail of even each unit, long after it has left the factory or warehouse.
RFID allows all this data to be transferred securely. Companies use independent suppliers, data from each of them can be carried on tags and uploaded to the Company's central system.
Imagine the control that the Company will have on a product's life cycle. The creation of sucesses and defeats can be better understood. There have been numerous instances when companies had to recall the entire product due to a fault in a minor component. Imagine the costs involved in recalling a whole car for a mistake in the AC system! RFIDs can make such recalls much more focussed.
There would be better data about post production performance. A car could have individually tagged components. Data could be collected everywhere, accident sites, repair shops, even the garage.Even inside the factory, tags could enable faster and focussed fault tracing.
The Just in Time(JIT) practice followed by many companies, where components are used when they are delivered and delivered just before being needed, can lead to out of stock situations. RFID will eliminate the problem.
The eventual aim of RFID in retail and manufacturing ~W eliminate the intermediary. A perfect supply chain would require no distribution center. Products would be delivered directly from the factory to the retail center.
Some other areas where passive RFID has been applied in recent past are:
Short range or proximity applications are typically access control applications. Some main areas are: