Asset Visibility RFID Case Study – Electronics Mfg

ELECTRONIC MANUFACTURER IN US

Endless hours of counting and searching for capital assets to meet SOX requirements compelled this leading international supplier of electronics to implement TransitionWorks Asset Visibility – tracking their manufacturing assets real-time, all the time, within a meter.

      • Headquarters: United States
      • Over 130 locations around the world

 

BUSINESS ISSUES

Manual Physical Inventory
The finance department had difficulties tracking and finding capital assets on 14 production lines within their manufacturing environment. Each production line runs as a separate cost center. Employees move assets from one line to another for production purposes. Finance personnel would perform a physical inventory on one lline and find discrepancies to the last physical count. They needed a way to determine real time where all the assets were based on
areas within each production line without walking to the floor and performing a physical count.

The company needed a system that would:

    • Provide real time location of the assets within a meter of their location
    • Eliminate the manpower required to take physical inventories of the assets
    • Provide data in a spreadsheet for easy reporting to the fixed asset business system
    • Notify personnel by e-mail when assets moved to another line
    • Notify personnel by e-mail if assets were removed from production altogether and put into warehouse storage areas or scrapped
    • Keep personnel informed when the battery is low on the RFID tag
    • Keep personnel informed if a sensor (RFID reader) went down

  • TRANSITIONWORKS SOLUTIONS

    Real-Time information
    The company implemented TransitionWorks Asset Visibility solution. Asset Visibility provided the real time tracking of assets within a meter of the assets location.

    Ultra wide band sensors and tags from Ubisense was the hardware selected. Virtual cell locations in 25’ x 30’ rectangles graphically display the location boundaries and within each cell the actual location of the asset is displayed. There is one RFID tag attached to each asset within the manufacturing environment.

    Thousand of assets are being tracked 24/7 real-time, historical information recorded, along with alerts and notifications sent to appropriate personnel as assets are moving, removed from designated areas or introduced into the environment.

    “We’ve entirely eliminated the need for personnel to track down fixed assets and are now assured that the correct production line has the appropriate manufacturing machinery required for cost reporting,” said the Operations manager in charge of the project.

  • The recommended solution included:
    • Asset Visibility
    • TransitionWorks Run Time
    • Ubisense ultra wide band (UWB) sensors and tags

     

  • According to the Project manager, “Being able to visually view each cell area of each production line and see the assets location real-time, along with being able to drill into the assets’ detail information and movement history was the reason that TransitionWorks was selected for the solution.”

  • BUSINESS BENEFITS

    “Our number one goal was to know where our assets are at all times,” stated the Finance Manager. “We no longer are down on the production floor trying to find an asset or determine if it’s been moved to another production line. The time savings have been incredible.”

  • The business benefits:
    • Available 24/7
    • E-Mail notifications based on defined business rules
    • Eliminate physical inventory of the assets
    • Eliminate finding a specific asset
    • Scalability of the software to include other areas of the company for asset/parts tracking
    • Asset location within a meter of the asset
    • Track over 3000 assets within the defined areas
    • Met SOX requirements

    This company plans to roll out Asset Visibility for tracking production assets across multiple manufacturing facilities in the United States.

    LESSONS LEARNED

    According to the Project manager, “The biggest challenge was understanding the changing RF environment. Our machinery is moved from line to line and also vibrates. We also have to consider the metal content of equipment and in the product being produced.”
    Customer requirements must be understood when implementing an RFID asset tracking system to ensure that the right technology and hardware are selected. Considerations must include:

    • Frequencies in use already at the facility
    • Location requirements such as within a foot, with in a cell, or within a room.
    • The type of notifications required when assets do leave an area.
    • The frequency of the notification from the tag on the asset.
    • Hardware selection based on type of assets being tracked

  • ABOUT TRANSITIONWORKS SOFTWARE

    TransitionWorks Software delivers innovative solutions that allow warehouse, field service, and sales operations to capture critical information, improve visibility of assets, processes and orders, and interact with their company’s ERP system in real-time wherever they are. Using the latest smartphone, RFID, PLC, biometric, barcode and cloud technologies, TransitionWorks’ platform is transforming hundreds of customer operations in over 20 countries across the globe. By radically simplifying processes and then putting the latest information in the hands of front-line personnel at all times, its customers make better decisions, reduce inventory levels, lower operating costs and generate higher returns.

     

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