THE ANALYSIS OF RFID SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION BY DIFFUSION OF ...
THE ANALYSIS OF RFID SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION BY
DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION THEORY
Iuan-Yuan Lu 1, Che-Hung Lin2,Hou-Hung Wei 3, Ming-Chih Chang 4
1 Vice Chairperson of Asia Network for Quality
Professor, Institute of Business Administration,National Sun Yat-Sen University
No.70, Lien-Hai Road, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan, R.O.C
2 Assiciate Professor, Department of Information Management,Cheng Shiu University
No.840, Chengcing Road,Niaosong Township, KaohsiungCounty, 833, Taiwan, R.O.C
3 Ph D, Student, Institute of Business Administration, National Sun Yat-Sen University
No.70, Lien-Hai Road, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan, R.O.C
4 MBA, Student, Institute of Business Administration, National Sun Yat-Sen University
No.70, Lien-Hai Road, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan, R.O.C
In recently years, RFID system has been developed rapidly and it is one of the ten most important
technologies in this century. Our government (Taiwan) and the manufacture industries both are actively
and positively promoting RFID system to enhance immediate reactions of corporate distribution &
logistic system, and further improving the corporate operation efficiency and corporate competitive
competences. In this study, we use Everett M. Rogers’s (1962) Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) Theory as
our framework, with individualized case study such as torpedo car system of steel plant discussing RFID
system’s five stages of its implementation process. The five stages are agenda setting, matching,
redefining/restructuring, clarifying and routinization. These are the consideration items and evaluation
standards when implement RFID system. We research RFID system on its impact in organizational
structure and culture, and further compare the impact of adoptive RFID system enterprises and existing
resources. We summarized our research findings as following 1.Large-scale and solid financial
enterprises usually take the initiative to collect information and understanding the innovative technologies
such as the RFID system. If the technology can be widely applied in the company and bring greater
benefits, the employees within the company will propose recommended plans. Therefore, usually early
adopters of such technology are big firm companies. 2. Enterprises whom are considering implementing
this innovative technology like RFID system, the first focus is its future benefit, followed by the costs and
the other factors; if the assessments revealed that can significantly enhance corporate performance, even
in the absence of precedent for reference, the enterprises will still try to implement and use this
technology. 3. Because the use of innovative technology companies usually lack of precedent and
experience for reference, therefore before they adopted, they will survey related examples and will
compare the current operation status to improve the efficiency of the forecast evaluation. In the initial
stage of introduce innovative technology for a company, increasing corporate performance brought by
technology usually remains in forecast period and hard to specify prediction.
Key words: Diffusion of Innovation, RFID, Steel plant, Torpedo car
In recently years, RFID system has been developed rapidly and it is one of the ten most important
technologies in this century. Our government (Taiwan) and the manufacture industries both are actively
and positively promoting RFID system to enhance immediate reactions of corporate distribution &
logistic system, and further improving the corporate operation efficiency and corporate competitive
RFID incorporates inventory, shipping, receiving and picking capabilities into one system. It enables
queries, reports and bar code labeling, along with scalable database applications and batched orders
management among other features. According to ABI research of 1st quarterly publication in 2007, the
global market for RFID are 3.812 billion dollars in 2006, in which Asia Pacific Zone is the biggest
market place, the scale is reach 1.407 billion dollars. The forecasts of global market scale will increase to
5.1 and 6.388 billion dollars in 2007 and 2008 and furthermore than 11.5 billion dollars in 2011. It is a
highly growth market. In Taiwan, the sharing of output value of Tag in RFID is the biggest as 39% in
2007 from MIC research; Second is Reader, the sharing rate is about 31%, and service is about 21%.
MIC forecasts the output value of RFID tags are still the main growing indicators in RFID market and the
sharing rate would be 46% in 2010.
Facing the trend of development and innovational application of global RFID technology, the Ministry
of Economic Affairs and Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG) of Executive Yuan, R.O.C in
Taiwan promote the “RFID application of public field and promoting office” and issue the plans of
leading application in living and safety of public, safety of trading way, travel and transportation of air-
flight, circulation safety of food, and healthy and medical applications in 27th-Feb 2006. Therefore RFID
becomes a sensation around the fields and industries and the reasons to be a star of tomorrow is not only
a characteristic of non-contacting identification, but also the widely applications of this new technology
and supported by adopters and users in different fields.
However the key points of adopting new technology are whether the applications suitable for reach
missions or targets in corporation. The different fitting levels between the technology and missions are
most causes of the different attributions of industrial models (Goodhue & Thompson, 1995). In order to
evaluate the adoption of system owners and end users from perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use
and continue to use by understanding the application status of RFID and which served customers after
analyzed the fitting level of RFID between technology and corporation. Rely on the implementation
process and the needs resources of RFID system from corporation to understand what kinds of industrial
attributions are suitable for implementation and how to implement efficiently to user in adopting and
reach the optimal synergy of corporation and advantageous for long term integration and master plan of
These are the consideration items and evaluation standards when implement RFID system. We
research RFID system on its impact in organizational structure and culture, and further compare the
impacts of adoptive RFID system enterprises and existing resources. On one hand, summarize the
Diffusion of Innovation（DOI）theory and construct the framework for study, and the other hand we use
case study to research what kinds of basic resources to be ready for implement RFID system in industry
from interaction of human, organization and technology to understand the process of practice for long
term operation and development. Furthermore, construct the setting technology diffusion process of
RFID system from implement to acceptation for reference in academic and industrial practices.
RFID System and Application
RFID provides a non-contact, non-line-of-sight ability to gather real-time data and can penetrate most
non-materials. The basic elements of RFID include three components, Antenna, Transponder (ID tag) and
Interrogator. At the basic level, a RFID tag contains a tiny transponder and antenna that have a unique
number or alphanumeric sequence; the tag responds to signals received from an interrogator’s antenna
and transmits its number back to the interrogator. While the tags themselves are relatively simple, they
allow the development tracking software that can maintain much better inventory information than just
relying on human entry of identification information as Figure 1 showed.
RFID tags come in three general varieties: passive, active, or semi-passive (also known as battery-
assisted). Passive tags require no internal power source, thus being pure passive devices (they are only
active when a reader is nearby to power them), whereas semi-passive and active tags require a power
source, usually a small battery. Passive RFID tags have no internal power supply and have shorter
transmission distance (<3 meters). The minute electrical current induced in the antenna by the incoming
radio frequency signal provides just enough power for the CMOS integrated circuit in the tag to power up
and transmit a response. Most passive tags signal by backscattering the carrier wave from the reader and
could have reduced tag costs dramatically. Unlike passive RFID tags, active RFID tags have their own
internal power source, which is used to power the integrated circuit and to broadcast the response signal
to the reader. Communications from active tags to readers are typically much more reliable (i.e. fewer
errors) than from passive tags due to the ability for active tags to conduct a “session” with a reader and
longer transmission distance (>100 meters).
AC continuous wave
RFID Reader Antenna
In applications, RFID systems Figuredifferent choices of reading and/or writing tags combine with
have 1 － RFID operational principle
using different requests and risk/secret levels. Read-only tags are preset to a specific number and retained
Data source:“Radio Frequency Identification White Paper”2001, p.3
that information throughout their life, whereas read/write tags can actually be written to by an appropriate
read/write device. Writeable tags are particularly useful when information about an item needs to be
easily associated with another item, particularly if there might be a problem with access to the database
that would associate a read-only number with an item’s information. Writeable tags are also useful in
creating information redundancy within an inventory system, maintaining information about an asset that
is physically separate from the main database.
For corporation, new meanings objects related with company continue to be improved in the corner of the
world. Innovation is a process of operation and to have a least new object implemented into a linkage of
PMTO. Therefore, innovation is a concept, a policy and an object of hardware or software that never seen
or newer than current. Innovation is also a construction, a process, and real objects or invisible services. If
we think that is an activity that includes the creation, media and acceptation of new objects. Rogers
(1962) indicated innovation is someone or some unit that adopted a new interval technology or real
Aiken & Hage (1966) said innovation is a concept was first adopted in internal company. Rogers
(1995) proposed DOI theory and identified innovation are an idea, practices, or objects that is perceived
as knew by an individual or other unit of adoption. Hoyer (1997) thought innovation is relative new
product, service, concept or contribution from market. It is a wholly new product or an existing product is
improved the value by new methods and also a relative new process and policy from adopters. Innovation
broadly means all the new finding or inventions of technological and productivity that never existed
before (Damanpour & Gopalakrishnan,1998 ； Damanpour & Gopalakrishnan, 2000). Bradford (2001)
proposed innovation is a new concept successfully implemented into internal organization and
recognized the concept is new by the specific area or social organization. Therefore, for related
acceptable units, the innovation is knowledgeable by individual or units if the object is a new idea,
practice or technology.
Diffusion of Innovation in Organization
Diffusion means transmit to social members by a specific way during a period of time (Rogers, 1995). In
accordance with DOI theory, there are five basic elements affect the diffusion process of innovational
objects as (1) Innovational product characteristics include relative advantage, compatibility, complexity,
divisibility and communicability. It is important to note that these five characteristics are not the only
ones that affect the rate of adoption; (2) Communication channels the meaning is the messages get from
one individual to another; (3) Social system is a set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem
solving to accomplish a common goal; (4) Time of decision process includes agenda setting, matching,
redefining/restructuring, clarify and routinization; (5) Adopter categories include the five segments as
innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.
Organization attends and responses the change and transition of outside environment immediately for
life (Subramanian ＆ Nilakanta,1996). Facing the rapidly changed environment, organization must to
increase efficiently and competence itself to acceptance (Gopalakrishnan ＆ Damanpour,2000), and
adopt the innovational objects to increasing the efficiency (Nystorm, Ramamurthy & Wilson, 2002;
Mcafee, 2002; Porter, 1996; Rogers, 1995). Therefore, the driving force of accepting innovational objects
in organization is for life and for business operation. Porter (1985) thought the innovation could excite
the efficiency and effectives of organization. Dewan(1998) researched the companies which revenue
growth rate are higher than the average growth rate of total corporations of U.S which have implemented
innovative equipments on U.S market. The internal characteristics of organizations and the effects of
environment effect the efficiency and effectives of organization (Gopalakrishnan ＆ Damanpour,2000).
Therefore, the decision of acceptance innovation is closed to relate with the characteristics of
organizations and the facing status of environment of organization.
Innovational product characteristics
Rogers(1962) proposed the explained variance of characteristics of innovational products are 49% to 87%
of all the factors of effecting innovation that include relative advantage, compatibility, complexity,
divisibility and communicability. The characteristic of relative advantage expresses extent the new
product is better than the one that is replacing. If the relative advantages of innovative products higher
than currents, the probabilities of adoption and the speed of development will be higher (Premkumar ＆
Roberts, 1999; Batz,Janssen ＆ Peters, 1999; Lederer etal., 2000; Tang, 2000; Slkye, Lou & Day, 2002;
Mehrtens, Cragg & Milla 2001; Min,2003). McDade,Oliva & Pirsch (2002) said if the relative advantages
or promotion of innovative products were stronger than original and know for consumers, the
effectiveness of diffusion will be high.
Compatibility is the level of which an innovation fits into the specific society. The smoother the
innovation fits into the culture, the faster the rate of adoption. The diffusion of certain types of birth
control pills in certain areas is unattainable due to religious beliefs and cultural values just like the
attitude for new technological objectives was affected experience and application degrees of adopting the
related technologies. If application degree of related technology is higher in organization, the adoption of
new technology will be higher (Williams, Magee ＆ Suzuki, 1998). Teng, Grover ＆ Guttler(2002). They
found the compatibility was more often the significant effectiveness and established power for innovative
objects compiled statistics in the past of DOI research.
Complexity of innovation is extent of how difficult it is for an adopter to understand and use an
innovation. Jackson (1998) thought if the complexity of innovative object is higher, the time of on-job-
training will be longer and cause of higher cost. High complexity products are usually hard to use and
difficult to bring the real effects and performance, even more the risk rate will be over It is very logical
to think that the harder the innovation is used, or at least perceived to use, the less likely that an adopter
would be to consume it.
Divisibility refers to the ability of the consumer to give the innovation a test run before deciding
whether to adopt it or not. Dunphy (1995) thought divisibility is very important for adopting innovative
objects of organization. The being able to try out a product before purchase helps increase the rate of
Communicability is simply stated as the idea that when an innovations benefit does not directly or
immediately solve or fix a consumers problem or need, it will not diffuse through a society as quickly
compared to an innovation that is more of solution to a problem. It is easier diffused in social institution
if communicability of innovative object was higher than original (Dunphy,1995 ； Slkye, Lou &
The diffusion of innovations was related with communication processes. Rogers had compared with the
media channels and personal influence. The finding of results from the mass media channels to the
individual with little or no interaction between the individuals but powerful change the personal
perception. The personal influence was easier to change the personal attitudes and behaviors.
It was first thought that the communication process the diffusion of innovations was only a one-step
process, from the mass media channels to the individual with little or no interaction between the
individuals. This obviously is not the case. Not only do individuals communicate with each other, some
individuals pass along their influence as well as their knowledge to other individuals. Opinion leaders are
individuals in a social system that others come to for information and guidance. With the understanding
of opinion leaders in society it is clear to see that the original one-step process invalid. Now the process
takes us through mass media channels to opinion leaders then to the individuals. This two-step flow of
communication is probably not complete, but the important idea to arrive is that no matter how many
steps are involved there will always be a two-step exchange of knowledge/influence at any given step
during the diffusion process.
With the addition of steps to the communication process, the idea of personal influence comes into
play, which refers to any communication between two individuals where one individual creates a change
in consumer behavior and the other. A more practical way of stating personal influence is peer pressure.
Social systems are referring to the group or groups of people that an innovation diffuses through. Earlier,
it was mentioned that people can determine how they will adopt innovations. Rogers(1995) proposed
four-type models of decision making from different characteristics of organization and the constructs of
decision making are optional, collective, authority and contingent. The optional type means the
implementations of new object were adopted or rejected by specific person in organization. The collective
means the implementations were decided by all members of organization. The authority is during option
and collective types that mean the implementations were decided by some members who have more
highly power or specialists. The contingent type cares the responses from middle-lower units after the
new object was adopted by higher units in organization.
Rogers’ innovation process in organizations, a five-stage process for how organizations adopt and
implement an innovation as Agenda Setting where organizations determine needs, Matching where those
needs are connected with innovations, Redefining/restructuring where the innovation is redefined to fit
the organization, the organization is restructured to fit the innovation, or a combination of both,
Clarifying where the new innovation is further refined and finally Routinization when the innovation
becomes another part of the organization. In the third edition (1983) Rogers stated that an organization
could not progress to the next stage until it had completed the current stage. An organization therefore,
could not skip a stage. After further research, Rogers stated in the fourth edition (1995) that this still holds
true when an organization adopts an innovation from outside the organization, but when the organization
adopts an innovation developed within the organization, the innovation may progress through the stages
Rogers (1983) identified the five segments as innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and
laggards. The specific characteristics that Rogers' identifies for each adopter category is significance to
advertisers interested in creating an integrated marketing plan targeting a specific audience. In DOI curve,
innovators share early 2.5% for all consumers of adopting innovative objects in different stages, early
adopters share 13.5%, early majority share 34%, late majority share 34%, and laggards share 16%.
In this study, first we use Everett M. Rogers’s (1962) Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) Theory as our
framework, with case study such as torpedo car system of steel plant discussing RFID system’s five
stages of its implementation process. The five stages are agenda setting, matching, redefining ／
restructuring, clarifying and routinization. Secondary we interview with company-China Steel
Corporation (CSC) and focus on the experimental practices and effectiveness of new technology - RFID
system implementation in mass production and summarized with five stages of DOI theory as figure 2
shows. Last, we inductive an innovative implementation model of new technology that combined
practices and theory from important decision making points and key success factors of adoptive process.
Initiation Phase Implementation Phase
Matching Restructurin Clarifying Routinization
Decision to Adopt
CSC － Innovational Process of RFID Implementation
Figure 2 － The Innovation Process in Organizations
This study is focus on leading steel industrial company, China Steel Corporation (CSC) in Taiwan. We
consider the innovational products and resource supporting ability of implemented technology are
relative higher than the others. The research topic is usage of RFID implement into steel production in
Taiwan. Our interviewees are included the employees of the project, the engineers of electrical & control
division, transportation engineers of raw material & in plant transportation department and the users of
RFID system in CSC and the external coordinated suppliers for constructing an objective of fully
implement practices of company by crossing compare with information and suggestions from technology
adopters and providers.
In part of the study data collection, the information is divided into primary and secondary data in to
two parts. The information through observation and in-depth interviews were been initially collected. In
the interview process, we set questions guidelines for the interviews (interview guide). We ask
respondents for more detailed and comprehensive answers to understand the actual cases of proliferation
in innovative models. The interview is semi-structured – quantitative and qualitative-oriented model. The
researchers at the scene write down on the paper and use recorder to record the interview for follow-up
information, analysis and validation. The secondary sources are from research journals, doctoral thesis,
books and media reports, other public information, company’s official information and other enterprises.
In data analysis, this research used content analysis on the sample analysis as main focus, and based on
interviews’ contents using classification theory to conceptualize the contents. At the end, with final edit
of analysis, interpretation of the contents to explore more meaningful and relevant information.
CSC’s Manufacturing Process – the Ability and Importance of Torpedo Car
The main manufacturing process of CSC production is the processing of raw materials, iron making, steel
making and rolling as listed 1.Raw material：Coal, iron ore, and limestone are unloaded to the storage
yard first. The coal is then transferred to the coke oven plants to be produced into coke, iron ore and
limestone are transferred to the sinter; 2. Iron making: Iron ore, sinter, coke, together with flux are fed
into the blast furnaces, and they are ignited to produce hot metal and slag. Hot metal is then transferred to
the basic oxygen furnaces by railway torpedo car; 3. Steel making: Hot metal and steel scrap are charged
into the BOF to be produced into liquid steel which is mostly transported to the refining stations tor
treatment, and then it is sent to the continuous casters to be produced into slabs or blooms which are
semi-finished products; 4. Rolling: Blooms are fed into the billet mill to be shaped into billets and further
processed into bars or wire rod products in the bar or rod mills. Slabs are fed into the plants mill to be
shaped into the plants or further processed into hot rolled products in the strip mills. Hot rolled products
can be further processed to produce cold rolled products in the cold roll mills.
The blast furnace (BF) operation is one of iron-making processes. Iron ores, cokes and fluxes are
charged from furnace top, then to react with the ascending gas which is introduced from tubers, as a
result to produce the molten hot metal and slag. Hot metal is treated by de-S or de-P process at
pretreatment station first then transported to BOF for oxygen blowing, and after tapping to ladle, liquid
steel is further refined at LI (ladle Injection), RH (vacuum treatment), VOD or STN (stirring station);
refined liquid steel then sent to SCC or BCC for casting to slab or bloom semi-product, finally this semi-
product is inspected or grinded, or scar fed to remove surface defects, then shifted to downstream for
Torpedo cars are used carrier of hot metal from BF and translated to BOF that deploy in different
transportation systems of regions. After poured out of hot metal, torpedo cars should go into cleaning
operation and replace to BF as shows in Figure 3. The schedule planning of railway torpedo car should
suitable for different needs of capacities in each BF. In which, there are separated to two regions as iron-
making plant and steel-making plant and deployed in second relays of torpedo cars if adopted the
operation of cross regions, and cause of lower efficiency by increasing the time of transportation and
waiting. Actually, the capacities of hot metal from BF#3 and BF#4 are much lower than back side (BOF
& pretreatment sections) capacities of deoxidization in 2nd steel-making plant, therefore, the outputs of
hot metal from BF#1 and BF#2 sometimes were deployed to 2nd steel-making plant, and balance the
capacities between front side (BF sections) and back side. When torpedo cars of BF#1 and BF#2 loaded
hot metal (loading flow) and should be deployed to 2nd steel-making plant then poured out and replaced
to BF#1 and BF#2 to avoid the status of insufficient quantities of torpedo cars. In order to meet the
requirements of senior types of steel, the outputs of de-Si hot metal in BF#3 should be deployed to 1st
iron-making plant and proceeded de-P pretreatment.
The key points of automatic production in steel plant were maintained, the stable supply of hot metal
in BF and a well deoxidization in back side regions to make sure the smoothly operation in iron-making
and steel-making processes. There are three conditions in general operation of torpedo cars include (1).
Outputs of hot metal between front side and back side capacities were balanced in general operation, and
the loading and empty flows of torpedo cars were controlled in suitable range as an optimum situation;
(2). When back side equipment was failed or broken and caused to decrease the capacities of
deoxidization, the outputs of hot metal were higher than deoxidization and caused to increased loading
flow of torpedo cars and jammed, further more the poured out torpedo cars were delayed to clean the
accumulated slag, then destroyed the cars, the replaced torpedo cars are not enough to back to BF that
should be turned off the output immediately and injured the quality of hot metal in BF for continuous
production; (3). When front side equipment of BF was failed or broken, the empty torpedo cars were
accumulated, the outputs of hot metal were lower than the capacities of deoxidization, and BOF would
keep running to wait for shortage quantities of hot metal and wasted energy. Therefore, the real time
deployment of railway torpedo care system will be a well buffer zone at a state of emergency and control
the lowest loss for steel plant.
Automation RFID identification tracking system was set RFID readers, antennas on apparatus, torpedo
cars and gateways, and composed RFID tags set on front and back side positions of outside railway
switches and entrances. The action flow of system includes the antennas on the cars will shoot the
wireless wave and received by setting tags of railway, and tags will send the ID code when torpedo car
passed the setting position. After RFID antennas identified the code then transmit to RFID reader and
decoding ID by transmitting system, and then transmit the ID data to data collected station of controlled
The propose of implement RFID system is replace the old deployment that track the torpedo cars on
specific length of railway was relied on railway switches and manual marked the position by magnets on
disposing photos of whiteboard, further deployed by intercom. The dispatchers could handle the dynamic
situation of plant torpedo cars from computers of dispatcher's offices, and recorded the moving routes to
decrease the loading and risks of dispatchers.
1st Iron-making Plant 2nd Steel-making Plant
de-S or de-P de-S
Hot Metal BOF BOF Hot Metal Pretreatme
Pig/M. & Dump/Y.
#2 TCC #1 TCC
BF #1 BF #2 BF #3 BF #4
Figure 3 － Torpedo Car Deployment & Operational process
Data Source: Internal data from CSC
DIFFFFUSION OF INNOVATION PROCESS FOR RFID SYSTEM IN CSC
The Characteristics of Innovative Products of RFID
RFID torpedo car, identification tracking system relative to the old system brought the interest of CSC,
because of immediately provision of a dynamic information which unlike the old system that has fixed-
point static information. In RFID system, scheduling staff at the scene can collect information in the
grasping situation on the moving vehicles rather than just reported back in time. The moving torpedo car
can log accurate information because of the system is been adapted to information technology. It can
control the irregularities of cars and also provide tasks schedule analysis or enhance operational
efficiency of the database. By comparing with traditional vehicles scheduling it can be significantly
shorten the time. CSC hopes in the future by adapting RFID system can fully automated the
manufacturing process that can reduce expenditure, manpower, and training costs. In innovation
organization point of view, we feel that CSC’s fully automation can be a leading example of RFID
CSC and external vendors consult and discuss with each other to build development plans from
hardware to software in adapting RFID to existing torpedo car system, therefore a lot of functional needs
discuss by scheduling staffs are been considerate, so that the system can have highly degree of
compatibility of each other and great usability for actual production line. Although the operation process
of RFID system is different from the traditional system, but it brings greater conveniences and improves
a lot of weakness in the old system.
The new RFID system relative to the tradition system add a few capabilities therefore it increase the
complexity of the system. Although the system is complex but still the difficulty is low and so that it can
be train in a short period of time and it will not cause difficulties for the operation staffs. The CSC
recruits more and more younger employees with better learning abilities and observation.
The external vendors can conduct small-scale test on RFID experimental parts during the system
construction. Therefore, the CSC can use this test to assess RFID system to torpedo car identification
tracking system to fit the situation and understand the system for the operating environment and improve
the operational flow of progress and enhance performances.
CSC is the first company in Taiwan that incorporated RFID system into its torpedo car tracking
identification system, so that we don’t have other companies in Taiwan to precedent for the observation
of objects. We can only use the external company like American company, TRANSCORE.
TRANSCORE use the RFID in the rail transport is the case experience for us. We assess their expected
results, and observed their limited hardware equipment. In software, there is no performance that can be
observed. Therefore, the introduction of RFID system observation is relative limited.
Comprehensively import torpedo car with RFID tracking system that can identify as the characteristics
of innovative products. Although the observation is limited, but in benefits, compatibility, complexity and
testing can score relative higher compared to the old system, therefore assessment of RFID into the
torpedo car identification tracking system is highly innovative product that is widely acceptance.
RFID system in the channels of communication
CSC obtained information in the new products and technologies through the employees. The employees
regularly attend domestic and foreign conferences in new products and technologies, therefore the
information obtained on RFID system isn’t just personal reason but it is provided by companies that
promotes new technologies and products. CSC searches the sources of RFID vender was followed the
open bidding process to find the winning bidder. CSC took the first initiative in this field. The
information of RFID products can only obtain through open competition of RFID provider companies.
This way allows CSC able to gain more benefits and allows the providers to understand more about CSC.
Therefore, it will cut down the problem occurs in adoption and limited the misleading by personal bias in
product or company.
Social system of CSC
In CSC’s social structure, the majority of its engineers are college graduated. According to Roger (2003)
in the book of DOI, highly educated employees are easier to accept and adopt new innovative products;
therefore the employees in CSC are more likely to accept the new innovative products. They also have
more knowledge and information to analysis the use of the new innovative product. CSC have a solid
organization structure, each department is clearly separated and the decision makers are able to response
suggestion and pay attention with their employees, therefore it is great help to introduce innovation and
technology. In social norms, CSC is the leading domestic steel industry, the policy objective of
positioning the company to become world-class steel continued to progress to increase company’s
competitiveness. CSC has highly acceptance of new technology. It also has enough finding and
employees relative higher than other steel companies. Therefore by implementing new technology can
expected to have lower costs, improved performance efficiency. It can be a good example on the diffusion
High-level management leaders in CSC promote innovation, and support projects adopts new
technology in resources, finding, and time. The management fully empowered RFID system project’s
experts. The electrical control department and in plant transportation department recruit technology
experts and user experts. They can provide professional point of view on the objective assessment of the
new system suitable for the organization. This allows the organization to accept the new technology
faster. Although in the earlier adoption, still will need to face suspicion from some employees but
because of endorsement by the experts can reduce this opposition.
Time diffusion of CSC
The old transportation systems of torpedo cars used the radio, sensors of switches and whiteboard making
the positions of cars. The dispatchers relied on hand-held radio machine (Walkie-talkie) with the other
ways to deploy the cars when torpedo cars should stand by on the position by calculating the outputs of
hot metal from BF. The old system have a high management abilities in single-site but unable to catch the
real time information when the car is moving. In agenda setting stage, CSC wants to reach automatic
production, logistic and knowledge management, and reduced cost in process management, for optimum
arrangement on production and increase the efficiency of risk management and operational management
for industrial competition, and will regular attend the global conferences and forums and invite the
vender’s reporting in the company and sharing the newest technologies in RFID system. For initial
implementation of RFID, CSC employees take the initiative with suitable venders and inquire the
possibility of implemented RFID into torpedo cars that storage the data of moving car and deployment
experience in database then it will decrease the learning curve and risk.
In matching stage, CSC evaluated the other technologies like GPS, but still chooses RFID to reach the
target of automatic production. Initially, there is no precedent experience for reference and should leading
a project group and combined the professional abilities of suppliers, setting and testing in direction on
production system. The evaluation methods include expecting equipments, setting the simple testing
machines, trail run the feasibilities and pilot run on the spot, then large scale building and implement to
In redefining/ restructuring stage, the early adoption stage, most companies in Taiwan are relying on
outsourcing of RFID implementation by public bidding and cooperated with internal project groups. The
authorized decision of specifications and purchasing the software and hardware that base on the abilities
of equipment setting, team managements and the degrees of understanding in traffics management of
steel plants, attempt of solving problems and the stability and practicability in main consideration in
decreased the risks of potential issues substantially. The purchasing of hardware and software was
followed in the regular contracts and the needs of specifications that co-decided with internal team
members and vendors then choose the suitable ones by venders.
In clarify stage, CSC detailed and analyzed the original functions of system, and asked the suppliers to
install and trial run the new system in company. It mainly proposed to early understanding the functions,
principles for employees that they can catch the dynamic information on the status of torpedo cars and
which written data in database. They clarified the RFID system implementation which met the strategic
targets of company would increase the efficiency of operation and easy the risk management. Therefore,
the orders will increase the loading capacity and the employees could easy the work and rely on this
system implementation. The company will never need to extend the demand of human resource. In
operational efficiency, due to automatic recording the dynamic data of torpedo cars it will not only assist
the innovative technology as RFID system to diffuse in company, but also meet the theory of Clarify and
increase the disciplines of operators and drivers therefore avoiding the contingencies. CSC will hold the
training courses and SOP to staffs for preparing the work in the future.
In the conventional stage, CSC setup new management indicators system to measure the performance
on implementation of innovation. The measurement indicators are divided into two parts. The first
measurement is quantitative indicators which are torpedo cars scheduling information, rate of sensor
reading, number of speeding. The second measurement is non-quantitative indicators which are safety of
employees on the torpedo car railway, corporate images and etc. The benefits of the new system is
digitalize the written paper work data into computerize database which promotes the integrity and
reliability of the data that will enhance the company’s automatic performances. It also limited the
speeding therefore increases the safety of work environment and enhances employees’ confidence which
allows the new technology becomes regularly process. The system has not been fully constructed, so it
still needs to keep track the performance of RFID. However, it is expected to increase efficiency in
transportation and also enhance performance of blast furnace. It needs to continue correct the weakness
of the system. The weakness of the system included the need of sensors to track torpedo car’s speed and
adjust the position identification label and overcome the signal weakness during the rainy days. These are
the key points to follow-up and be improved.
CSC as the recipient of innovation
CSC in adoption of RFID system in torpedo cars identification tracking system is classify as earlier
adaptor of innovation. The first reason is that CSC has greater resources and financial assess that can
sustain the risks of adoption new innovation. The second reason is that it has ability and expertise to
understand and apply complexity of technology, and it also can proper evaluate new technology into the
system efficiency and able to face the possible risk and high ability in crisis management. The third
reason is that the business objective of CSC is to become a world-class steel company. The CSC is more
active adopt innovation technology and is willing to invest in fully automation manufacturing production
and enhance total performance compares to other company in the industry.
In accordance with Diffusion of Innovation（DOI）theory and the framework for study, We summarized
our research findings of implemented RFID system as following. In general, person think the innovative
technology implemented into traditional industry will spend for a long time, and almost follow the change
of environment, or could increase the performance of corporation significantly, and passive catch the
information of innovative technology. However, CSC belongs to traditional industry but they did have
positive understanding and open mind related information of innovative technology. They will regular
attend the global conferences and forums and invite the suppliers’ reporting in company inside, and ask to
offer the technological reports and sample for test. As above, the ways let internal adopters well
understand the potential applications and interests will meet the needs and developing trend of company
in agenda setting stage of DOI. In matching stage, CSC combined the professional abilities of suppliers,
setting and testing in direction on production system. On one hand could show the performance in real
operation of innovative technology, the other hand could easier knew the suitable solutions for technology
adopters, and further thinking about how to implement and redefining the structure of organization and
ready to adjust. In Redefining/restructuring stage, CSC choose the suitable outsourcing and discussed the
changed methods of the operational process in the future, and authorized the decision of specifications
and purchasing the software and hardware that base on the stability and practicability in mainly
consideration not only for price could decreased the risks of potential issues substantially. The means the
lowest uncertainty is the first priority in implementation of innovative technologies for innovator of DOI
– CSC. Moreover, in order to increase the acceptation rate of internal employees, CSC asked the suppliers
to install and test the new system in company, and mainly proposed to early knew the functions and
principles for employees that not only assist the innovative technology as RFID system to diffuse in
company but also meet the theory of Clarify and decrease the suspects and resistances. The stability and
reading rate of signal are the key indicators of successful implemented RFID system. Therefore, CSC set
the initial target of innovative technology was same as original efficiency for translated manual process to
automatic process. The stability of system was fine tuned to reach a specific level would ask increasing
the efficiency and involve in evaluation items in Routinization stage.
Large-scale and solid financial enterprises usually take the initiative to collect information and
understanding the innovative technologies such as the RFID system. If the technology can be widely
applied in the company and bring greater benefits, the employees within the company will propose
recommended plans. Therefore, usually early adopters of such technology are big firm companies.
Enterprises that are considering implementing this innovative technology like RFID system, the first
focus is its future benefit, followed by the costs and the other factors. If the assessments revealed that can
significantly enhance corporate performance, even in the absence of precedent for reference, than the
enterprises will still try to implement and use this technology. Because the use of innovative technology
companies usually lack of precedent and experience for reference, therefore before they adopted, they
will survey related examples and will compare the current operation status to improve the efficiency of
the forecast evaluation. In the initial stage of introduce innovative technology for a company, increasing
corporate performance brought by technology usually remains in forecast period and hard to specify
From influencing factors of DOI, for keeping a advantage of industrial leader, CSC robust evaluate and
make a daring approach the innovative technology RFID system in company for long term development
with have more positive ambitions in the future even the yield or performance could not be increased
immediately after set up finished initially. The innovative product characteristics of RFID torpedo car,
identification tracking system belongs a higher level of diffusion, which could decreased to the lowest
resistance and obtain the supports of high level decision making when implemented it.
Due to the different industrial characteristics, corporation resources, scales and targets will cause of the
different reasons in agenda setting and have a different consideration in a specific background of space-
time for implement the innovative technology. A company has fully resource and bigger size, that usually
turn into be a role of innovator in the field, and positive to break through the bottleneck by finding the
innovative technology. In initially R&D, who fully catch the newest information, the power of internal
teams and outsource to implement innovation and maintain the rank of leader position. Even though to be
a innovator in the curve of DOI usually face a higher risk, spend more higher cost and must to undertake
a lots of uncertain factors in industrial innovation, but almost have a highest benefits and return on
investment. In CSC case study of implemented RFID system, it is a good solution with an internal project
team and out sourcing together, a well-arrangement in each evaluation stage and section of management
will have a highly probability of success diffusion of innovation.
We make few suggestions for future research including studying diffusion of innovation in different
industries such as the differences between high tech industries and traditional industries. The traditional
industries, steel industry, plastics industry and food industry have different diffusion of innovation model
compares to high tech industries. Even the companies in the same industries also have differences in size,
strategies between competitors that affect diffusion of innovation model. For example, comparing the
leader in steel industry to others, the entire theoretical framework that verify the practice characteristics
in different circumstances, where there are different models in diffusion of innovation theory and
hypothesis can be validate and build into theories and practices.
The validation of the theory and quantitative models is also another direction of future researches. For
example, in this study, after adopting RFID system in a period of time, we can conduct on-site survey for
different measurement indicators in diffusion of innovation and test its actual performance by using
results of the study to compare the theoretical conclusion and build the research on RFID system’s
diffusion of innovation.
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