Market research and development agency ARC estimates that since RFID has been identified as a key technology for implementing Industry 4.0, the number of RFIDs used in manufacturing will achieve double-digit growth. Over the years, the company has developed more RFID applications in the manufacturing industry and identified the technology as a key driver of its business.
According to the logistics point of view, RFID technology has existed for decades and is considered to be a very old technology. Around 2000, the technology caught the industry's interest in product tracking. Wal-Mart uses RFID technology to manage inventory throughout the supply chain, but this interest is fading.
Until 2010, the rise of Industry 4.0 rekindled interest in RFID technology. In 2017, the RFID market growth rate almost reached double digits. ARC expects growth to be even higher in 2018. Western Europe and Japan have a good base for RFID reader installation, the market is mature, and North America and the mainland are catching up. North America has good RFID penetration in the supply chain and logistics sectors, but manufacturing use still lags behind Western Europe.
In addition to using RFID for basic manufacturing applications, including tracking and tracking, product and material flows, internal logistics, asset management and new applications, this is expected to further drive market growth. These new applications include IP protection, intelligent maintenance, and even RFID for sensing solutions.
This also means deeper integration into enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), privileged access management systems (PAMs) and control layers. ARC believes that RFID will become a more versatile technology, and suppliers and users are just beginning to fully realize their potential. Major RFID suppliers on the market include Balluff, Omron, Pepperl + Fuchs, Sick, Siemens and Zebra Technologies.
But there are also smaller vendors that are usually only used as component suppliers, but highly specialized, such as OmniID, Smartrac or Xerafy. ARC estimates that the number of RFID providers will remain the same or even increase. The technical barriers of RFID are small and application knowledge is more important, so new companies in other fields may join the RFID market.