Episode 2


Revolutionizing logistics and manufacturing process


Innovation Japan


Revolutionizing logistics and manufacturing process

Advances in technology have contributed greatly to improving productivity. One such technology, radio-frequency identification (RFID), has been widely used to track and monitor a variety of commercial items, significantly improving operational efficiency in many industries. However, RFID could not be used with metals until recently , resulting in time-consuming work manually tracking items at sites that handle metals. This video introduces the intriguing story of the development of a new RFID technology that can work with metals, with the potential to dramatically improve productivity in a wide range of logistics and manufacturing process.


Radio-frequency identification or RFID is a key enabler for the Internet of Things and further efficiency improvements. It can be used to track and monitor a variety of items, especially in manufacturing and supply chain logistics. Unfortunately, however, RFID has been said to never work with metal.

Therefore, everyone has believed that metal items must be tracked manually, requiring tremendous effort and time.

One rising company in Kanazawa, Japan, challenged and overturned this myth, inventing an innovative new RFID which can work on and even be embedded in metal objects.


Shiro Sugimura
Phoenix Solution Co., Ltd.

RFID is a form of wireless communication that uses radio waves. However, it is difficult for RFID tags to work properly on the surface of metal objects, because metal changes the RFID’S radiation pattern and resonant frequency. I took this obstacle as an advantage and developed a new type of RFID whose radio waves propagate on the surface of metal objects when the RFID tag is attached, it makes the entire metal object work as an antenna. Our newly developed RFID tag works on metal, the back of metal panels, and even when metal plates are piled up.

Our RFID tags can also be read when embedded in vehicles, or by a RFID-reading drone flying high above the vehicles and other metal objects. None of these features were possible before.


Manufacturing and logistics industries have sought a low-cost way to tag metal assets. This new RFID is poised to change the way metal asset control is done in these businesses. Now metal items can easily be tracked and traced with our RFID, eliminating human-based errors and enhancing maintenance performance.


Yoshito Iwabuchi

We introduced this newly developed RFID in our business. Operation time to track and trace items was shortened by 40%. It’s truly amazing!


Yukio Oya
Senior Manager
IBM Japan

This RFID will bring a dramatic improvement in metal asset control to our clients’ whole supply chain logistics. This is also a big breakthrough for us!


Hisao Kanaoka
Phoenix Solution Co., Ltd.

Metal items are extensively used everywhere. So we believe our RFID has great potential to dramatically improve all the stages of logistics concerning such metal items, including supply of components, assembly, and delivery to customers, boosting overall productivity.