Autonomous Work Order Tracking

 

WISER’s asset tracking system helps enhance operations and track production across its many stages. In this use-case, the WISER Locator tracks work order locations as they progress through multiple production stages. A molding solutions factory used WISER’s system in this way to visualize data and to monitor job speed and progress.

 
Storage bins used to track work order locations.

THE PROBLEM: MANY MOVING PARTS

A molding solutions factory in Massachusetts faced the common problem of having many moving parts in the same facility. In cases like this, the high volume of objects in motion makes it difficult not to misplace anything, potentially halting production. Look-alike assets make this even more challenging. Manufacturing processes like welding, grinding, or lathing can also make it unfeasible to mark specific assets with barcodes or other identifiers until late in the manufacturing process.

Failing to locate the desired asset will typically delay multiple processes, since additional assets might be held to a standstill during the search for a specific work order or machine part. This makes it key to have an accurate picture of where each object is at every stage of production.

This molding solutions factory approached the issue by associating each production task with a specific bin. Bins hold identifying work orders for each project. Workers then move these bins around the facility as products are lathed, cleaned, assembled, and inspected, so that bin locations correspond with the progress of each task. Locating the needed bin at the right time is still challenging, however, especially since so many bins look alike and since they could move very quickly or slowly depending on job status and backlog.

THE SOLUTION: WISER’S ASSET TRACKING SYSTEM

To monitor job status, factory personnel attached WISER Tracker Tags to each bin. These Tags register bin locations automatically in real time, accurate within a few inches. WISER’s wireless mesh network registers tag locations in its software, overlaying their locations on a facility map or floor plan. This creates an immediate picture of where each bin is, whether the bin is at rest, in motion, between production stages, and so on.

This also reveals the tracking history for each bin’s location, including how much time each bin has spent in any given area. Using WISER’s REST API, it’s also possible to plug bin location and status directly into an MES or similar software to further streamline operations and eliminate the need for manual data entry.

THE RESULTS: REAL-TIME VISIBILITY

This use of WISER’s system eliminates the need to perform manual checks on the status of a given project. Instead, workers can simply type in the identity of the bin they need to locate, or view a digital floor plan to see the real-time location of each asset. This saves countless hours of manual work. It also generates ample data on part, project, and work order status.

This system allows end users to pinpoint problems based on immediate data. In many cases it provides the insights to prevent standstills and slowed production even before a problem arises. Having such an accurate understanding of the production process also allows users to study tracking and location histories to optimize future production. Ultimately, WISER’s system quantifies performance metrics for all stages of on-site production. Most importantly, WISER’s asset tracking system does this autonomously and instantaneously without disrupting current work processes.