Case Study: Optimizing Smart Manufacturing
CLIENT PROFILE AND ISSUE
A global manufacturing leader with increasing demand for their products wanted to streamline their processes, increase traceability, and ensure accurate and on-time product delivery. Under their former method of Labor Reporting, when the product was moving through each assembly station an employee had to stop what they were doing and report the quantity in a computer. With manual reporting, this took around 10 minutes per product, per assembly line, and was possible to report the product in a wrong operation or incorrect job, report an operation twice, or skip reporting an operation completely. These issues impacted the inventory quantities and transactions, leading to shortages and inaccurate inventory levels reported.
The global leader decided to adopt Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) into its work-in process procedures. They reached out to Metalcraft, an industry leader in RFID tag manufacturing, who helped guide them in selecting the proper tag for their processes. Metalcraft ensured the tag construction and RFID components would work in their environment and deliver all necessary information. CDO Technologies maintains an excellent reputation with Metalcraft and was first on their short-list of companies that could help the company reach their goals. CDO worked with the global leader to install, implement, and integrate our Critical Asset Tracking System (CATS) with the already-existing system.
CDO designed the workflow process, helped the global leader develop the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system integration, and validated the transactions. They simulated the workflow by moving an RFID tag in front of the readers and performing the integration and labor reporting for normal transactions. Once tested and validated, the team was ready to implement the solution in an assembly line, while monitoring the processes closely to detect errors. CDO worked with them to smooth over any kinks in the system, ensuring the new custom system ran at the highest efficiency. After one month of testing in production, the team deployed the solution to all assembly lines.
By using the RFID tags and the CATS solution, the global leader improved inventory transaction accuracy by auto-filling the materials used on each piece, eliminating human error from the invoicing process. They also saved 10 minutes of manual worktime per product, translating into eight to nine work hours saved daily.
The source of many issues the global leader had previously experienced was in forgetting to report the labor at a station, which was generating “Late Operations.” Late Operations is a Key Performance Indicator which corrects labor time reporting on a task. The global leader had previously needed to track Late Operations daily to ascertain their reports matched the work completed. Implementation of the RFID system eliminated the need for Late Operations by auto-filling parts and labor for the tasks at each station.
RFID implementation with the CDO Critical Asset Tracking System also helped the global leader eliminate another KPI they previously encountered, “Shortages.” Shortages resulted from a failure to accurately report the operations. Specifically, a labor reporting error meant the system was not depleting the inventory for the components physically used in the workflow, hence creating a false positive and not triggering accurate replenishment actions. As Shortages were discovered, rushed orders for inventory increased along with other unnecessary complications. Utilizing the power of an RFID enabled system eliminated such shortages.
Streamlining the work-in-processes through asset tracking was just the beginning. CDO also evaluated their production flow from a fresh perspective and identified opportunities to further increase workflow efficiencies using asset identification and management software. The collaboration of Metalcraft and CDO Technologies resulted in saved time and money, as well as the confidence that the global leader’s continued success will be supported by their custom-built RFID solution.
If you have questions or would like to further discuss your unique asset tracking challenges, please schedule an appointment.