Radio frequency sensors offer companies more information about the physical world for savings in time and money.
Ford Motor Co.
Before: Assembly-line workers running low on parts would have to pick up a phone and call the replenishment department to get more, then waitsometimes for hours.
Now: Ford puts RFID tags on each parts bin. Warehouse operators now know, in seconds, when supplies run low, and automatically deliver parts as needed to workers on the assembly line.
Procter & Gamble Co.
Before: P&G used bar codes to track shipments of goods from factory to retail outlets, but couldn't do much to halt sudden supply shortages on store shelves.
Now: RFID is tracking shipments, and, eventually, individual products, so they can be stocked on demand in stores. P&G expects to cut its $3.5 billion inventory in half and cut costs by $400 million a year.
San Francisco Int'l.
Before: Security staff at SFO had to hand-carry passenger bags flagged by an FAA profiling system to a bomb detection machine, then back to the check-in counter, causing delays.
Now: RFID tags are put on suspect bags and routed automatically to bomb detection devices, enabling SFO to cut bomb detections security spending by an estimated 50 percent.