The Status Quo
At a major automotive manufacturing plant, tens of thousands of engine blocks are created each year. Often, these parts will travel through various processes before completing their lifecycle within the plant.
Previously, there was no system to track part movement and pallet location which resulted in little to no visibility into a part’s location at any given time. Without actionable data, whenever a quality issue had been identified and a given range of serial numbers were required to be manually inspected, significant man-hours were spent moving loads of pallets to check all engine blocks.
In some instances, management was uncertain if the questionable parts were onsite or had already shipped to another facility. In short, the previous system was gravely inefficient within an otherwise very efficient manufacturing process.
Lacked visibility into part-to-pallet association, as well as part or pallet location within the plant.
500+ hours of wasted labor spent annually inspecting pallets for potential quality issues.
Costly recalls due to pallets being shipped with parts that did not meet quality standards.
After initial analysis of their process we began by developing both web and mobile interfaces for the parts traceability program.
The next step was outfitting all palletizer lines with RFID hardware and stack light indicators and then tagging pallets with RFID tags to uniquely identify and locate pallets as needed.
The increase in efficiency eliminating the need for a forklift driver to manually inspect each pallet while the web application allowed management to locate and view pallets as needed.