Manufacturing

North American Manufacturing is under siege! and one good way to thrive in a difficult envorinment is by increasing your company's efficiency. Manufacturing processes are immense and complex with high throughputs which require a reliable coordination of materials and supplies. This coordination is a large determing factor in your businesses profitability. RFID can help you run more efficient operations by minimizing downtime and optimizing part and material inventories.

Total RFID will create solutions which are ideal for your manufacturing facility. We can create systems to accomodate even the most complex manufacturing operations. Solutions can be tailored to improve the productivity and decrease costs in the supply chain, the warehouse as well as on the plant floor.

Advantages of using RFID in manufacturing include:

  • Inventory tracking of materials, supplies, part kits and sub-assemblies in real-time 
  • Item information is stored up-to-date directly on the tag - in comparision to barcode - as well as in the database which ensures data integrity and eliminates the need for a seperate assembly status system.
  • Tag durability ensures that no information is lost. Durable tags can be purchased that are rated for rugged conditions to last for decades.
  • The central database can be updated each time a process has been completed for each specific component
  • Field personnel can use RFID tag to determine product attributes such as the manufacture date or revision level

Total RFID's team is able to successfully design, deploy and integrate a solution which will improve your efficiency and give you a large ROI in a short time frame. If you'd like to find out if RFID can enable these benefits for your firm, please contact us.

Work in Process (WIP) Tracking

Does your business have problems having the correct part being installed or manufactured in the correct sequence? If so, RFID tagged parts can simplify the manufacturing process. RFID allows parts to be requested on time and verified in sequence. It needs to be incorporated into the production control system in order to ensure that the right part is located in the right place at the right time and in the right sequence.

In the case of complex and flexible manufacturing processes, assembly and manufacturing instructions can be linked to the wide variety of parts that may be assembled. This ensures that regardless of the configuration of the manufactured product, a correct assembly has taken place.

WIP tracking can reduce costly mistakes in the manufacturing process and increase operational efficiency keeping your company lean and mean. If you'd like more information into whether you're assembly line can benefit from RFID please contact us.


Access Control

RFID access cards enable access control of gates and doors. The movement of people through site can be controlled and monitored. This type of access control can be used to:

  • control access by personnel to certain areas
  • record information about access by personnel and contractors
  • automatically control gates and locks to restricted areas

Access control, when coupled with tagged equipment, can be used to prevent theft. High value or strategic equipment can be tagged and coupled with the access control mechanism. The movement of tagged equipment through the gate or door can be restricted to certain personnel and coupled to the individual who removed it.

With this type of a system it is also possible to monitor who removes and returns equipment. This acts as a sort of library, checking in and out equipment automatically as it is taken or brought back to a monitored or secured area.

 

Asset Tracking and Management

Expensive tools, materials and equipment are being tagged and tracked to enable a more optimal utilization. The usage of tagged assets can be tracked and schedules for the asset can be more easily and accurately planned. Some assets are especially hard to track due to environmental or geographic conditions. In such cases, active RFID tags can be used to automate accurate tracking information. Rented equipment can be tracked for usage und underutilized or unneeded rentals can be identified. Not only can the usage be tracked, geographic location can also be tracked so that personnel can easily and quickly find assets.

Managing assets is a key problem since so much equipment is expensive and maybe even chronically underutilized. The maintenance of such assets can be quite costly. In this case, inspection regimes can be linked with RFID-tagged assets to better estimate required maintenance based on actual asset usage. Detailled maintenance requirements can be linked with each asset such as what type of oil is required by the motor or which wear-and-tear part needs to be replaced and when. Maintenance schedules can be also stored directly on the tagged asset. RFID tagged assets can also track the maintenance to show that required maintenance was performed. The result is less downtime and better managed assets.

The tracking of assets and personnel can also be used to increase worker safety as well as reaction time in the event of accidents. If an accident occurs, personnel can be quickly located and accounted for.

Tools that are RFID tagged can be automatically checked out and checked in as well as assigned to specific users if coupled with RFID access control systems. Misplaced tools can be quickly found and ownership of tools and equipment can be shown based on it's RFID tag.

If you have any asset tracking or asset management needs, contact us and we'll tailor fit a solution to your company's needs.

 

Warehousing

Warehouse_IP30
Efficient warehousing or distribution centers (DC) can be enabled with RFID. Some potential applications where RFID can help enable savings include:

  • Pallet, case and item tracking, especially if pallets continue to be reused within the warehousing system
  • Forklift localization which allows software to monitor activity and assign forklifts to the closest pallets
  • Asset management allowing optimal usage of all assets in the Warehouse or DC
  • Access control for preventing unauthorized entrance to reduce theft and increase security
  • Monitoring of tagged goods to prevent unauthorized removal
  • Improving inventory management and control and reducing inventory costs through smart shelving where stock is constantly monitored and ordered as required
 

Traceability

For some businesses, the genealogy of a part or a product at every point in its life cycle is required. In the aerospace industry, for example, all parts must be traceable at all times throughout its life cycle. Errors or inaccuracies in data require replacement of the part and that can be expensive. RFID has memory on the tag that can be updated at any point.

The data can be stored both locally and externally in a database creating a redundancy. Because the data is stored and changed directly on the item, useful information such as sensor readings, manufacturing parameters, security codes, version information, inspection dates and warranty information as well as any other conceivable information can be stored on tag and linked to a database. Recalling and service of the product becomes much easier and fake items can be identified quickly. More importantly for the traceability, RFID provides tangible proof in case of investigation into regulatory non-compliance.

Inventory Management

Reduced inventory levels and the traceability of material usage are possible with RFID. Inventory levels can be dynamically set based on production plans and inventory can be automatically reordered once a threshhold is passed. Production slowdowns due to a lack of inventory can be reduced which reducing inventory expenses. Under used or unrequired products can also be identified. All of this serves to simplify and make inventory as lean as possible.

Supply Chain Visibility

RFID systems can foster bettter and more accurate information sharing between your company and suppliers. This leads to:

  • more accurate and timely delivery of supplies making sure you have the right supplies in the right place at the right time and in the right sequence
  • accurate and quick identification of required materials or parts meaning that serious problems due to incorrect materials or parts can be avoided

This all increases your ability to keep within the project timeframe and budget since business processes are more automated. Savings are generated in labor and material costs and late penalties are avoided. In general, inventory costs are lowered while ensuring that required inventory is better stocked and unneeded inventory is eliminated.

Defective and recalled items can be handled accurately and timely and as a small way to help the environment, paper based tracking can be reduced.

 

Customized Solutions

These are just some applications which may reduce your companies cost and increase productivity and safety. Of course, you know your business better than us so if you have another application which might benefit from this technology, we would love to hear from you. Just get in touch with us and we'll be happy to provide some guidance.

 


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