How important is technology to visibility and efficient warehouse operations? Here's how beacons and RTLS are changing manufacturing for the better.
Manufacturers everywhere suffer from a fragmented supply chain, yet, with the introduction of more and more technology, expectations about speed and efficiency are higher than ever. Properly managed warehouse operations are vital to optimized processes and fast results. But how can businesses achieve the results they need? Do they need technology to step in and help deliver a new level of performance?
RTLS has existed in manufacturing for years, and it’s becoming more important than ever. With the ability to express and visualize warehouse operations in easy-to-understand real-time data, RTLS is transforming manufacturing in no less than 3 big ways.
Where are your workers wasting time? Where are your most valuable assets being used inefficiently? Automatization has led to more and more tasks being handled by machines. This shift has offered great possibilities as well as risks. An effective asset tracking system could help machine operators better navigate the factory by determining the most urgent tasks and the shortest paths. Furthermore, tracking the movement of machinery and workers in a factory will help create a safer work environment, minimizing accidents and maintenance costs.
Proximity tracking with BLE beacons also has applications directly within production. In less automated factories, where goods spend a longer time at each station, managers can benefit from the monitoring of assets as they move through the production process. One crucial example case includes industries that emphasize craftsmanship and each product has a high degree of customization. These production units are usually smaller than a highly automated production line, but the low cost and simplicity of BLE makes advanced RTLS possible even for smaller manufacturers.
This laboratory uses beacons to track assets and increase warehouse operations efficiency
When dental laboratory and prosthesis maker Flemming Dental was looking to better track products moving through their laboratory, they turned to technology. Using beacons, they were able to better estimate delivery times and achieve higher quality results.
“The typical industrial solutions are currently focused on narrow areas - within a machine or on a production belt or something similar. If you want to track things within an entire factory, warehouse, or hall, then the current solutions would be too expensive, and therefore it is not done. In use cases where you would benefit from this, then beacons are the only technology option. The relationship between cost and the value is very good.”
Masanori Fujita, director for the Solution Center at Zühlke Group
The flexibility and low cost of beacons means firms can extend RTLS systems beyond just direct production Inventory not reaching the assembly line in time can prove a substantial dilemma and even disrupt the entire production process. By improving logistics systems with RTLS, firms can support logistics workers by guiding them to deliver the most practical or urgent requests first. Improved information here can overall logistic chain visibility.
Want to learn more about how beacons are transforming asset tracking? Our White Paper on RTLS offers our findings in depth including the role of big data and seven straight-forward steps to implementing a successful RTLS system.
No time? No worries! We carefully organized our paper to help busy managers learn about new possibilities in their particular sector, fast. Download the white paper here.