The promise of NFC for Industry 4.0

The promise of NFC for Industry 4.0

There have been several points, in the history of manufacturing, when technology has truly revolutionized the way products are made. In the early part of the 20th century, the steam engine and electrification led to mass production, and in the 1970s, when robotics, computers, and other types of automation came on the scene, productivity got another big boost. Since then, though, technology has had more of an incremental effect on manufacturing, especially when you think about what’s happened over the same period in other areas, such as information technology, mobile communications, and e-commerce.

But that’s changing. The manufacturing sector has become increasingly digital, using connected systems to control complex, collaborative processes. Machines and products now communicate with each other, so as to cooperatively drive production. In this new way of working, a product can find its way through the production process independently, minimizing the need for human intervention, and reducing the chance of human error. The result is heightened productivity, with the ability to respond to changes faster than ever before, and the ability to customize on a grand scale – all while reducing unit costs and saving energy.

This trend of digitization is more than an evolution, in terms of productivity, safety, and cost, and can legitimately be called a revolution. Analysts have, in fact, started calling this the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. The term refers to the use of a wide range of technologies, from semiconductor products like sensors and microcontrollers, to things like autonomous robots and simulators, big data and analytics, and, of course, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

One of the newest additions to the mix is Near Field Communication, or NFC, which adds new levels of convenience, communication, and configurability throughout the manufacturing process. Take a look.

NXPOur graphics show just some of the ways that NFC can enhance manufacturing, and there are sure to be even more applications as developers begin to explore the possibilities. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to discover more ways how NXP technology can enable Industry 4.0 and join the discussion: What role do you think NFC will play in this latest industrial revolution? Which further use cases can you foresee for NFC in the industrial environment? And what might Industry 5.0 look like?

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To get the details about NFC on manufacturing floors, download our new white paper, titled “What NFC means for smart factories, intelligent supply chains, and Industry 4.0”.

Laurent Dardé
Laurent Dardé
Laurent Dardé is Marketing Director for Security and Connectivity at NXP Semiconductors. In his more than 18 years in the technology industry, he has managed engineering groups in the automotive and consumer segments, with a special emphasis on multimedia, communications, and lifestyle products. His present position, which involves developing new markets for NFC technology, lets him build on his passion for the customer experience, and leverages his certification as a LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt.


  1. Avatar Mahesh Angadi says:

    Interesting blog with good illustration describing how NFC can play vital role in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing.
    In recent days, I noticed that NXP succeeded in integrating Vicinity technology (ISO/IEC 15693) into their NFC die, So why can’t we think of having such integrated NFC Tag too? which will even more eases accessibility in Manufacturing or Industrial Engineering or any other sectors.

    Mahesh A

  2. Avatar Laurent Dardé says:

    Hi Mahesh, thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right, the infographic is not yet complete and there are much more opportunities to support Industry 4.0 with NFC. You’re most probably referring to an upcoming Type 5 Tag. Since NXP is engaged in discussions around NFC Forum specifications, we can say that this one is currently in the standardization process. For the time being, the tag solution that is related to ISO/IEC 15693 in our portfolio is iCode. Maybe worth checking out:

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