Wireless manufacturing: A literature review, recent developments, and case studies

G. Q. Huang, P. K. Wright, S. T. Newman

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless manufacturing (WM) has emerged as a next-generation advanced manufacturing technology (AMT). WM relies substantially on wireless devices such as RFID (radio frequency identification) or Auto ID (automatic identification) sensors, and wireless information/communication networks such as Wi–Fi for the collection and synchronisation of manufacturing field data. This paper discusses the recent developments in RFID-based WM solutions. The study is conducted by examining related whitepapers, case reports and research articles available in the literature, and by reflecting on the insights recently experienced in developing prototype solutions. Typical motivations are presented to highlight why and how manufacturers can benefit from applying WM solutions in addressing shop-floor challenges and facilitating contemporary manufacturing strategies. Representative WM manufacturing applications and potentials are presented in the areas of product assembly, part fabrication, just-in-time (JIT), mass customisation, manufacturing asset management and maintenance, and product lifecycle management. Different schemes are discussed for deploying smart objects in manufacturing environments in order to achieve real-time traceability and visibility while minimising the total cost. Key issues are discussed for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-594
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Real-time manufacturing
  • RFID/Auto ID
  • Smart objects
  • Wireless manufacturing
  • Wireless sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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