WIP tracking systems

WIP tracking systems for Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing environments, in general, require raw materials and work in process to go through a series of different assembly stages. The subassemblies or raw materials are passed from one location to another in totes or containers. Leveraging human employees to check the accuracy of every assembly line resulted in more time consumption, increased labour wages and human errors. This is when WIP tracking systems came in to save the day.

With RFID enabled WIP tracking systems, each tote or container can be uniquely examined by virtue of the RFID tags in them. As these works in progress pass from one station to another, the tags record the status of the components. RFID based WIP tracking can immediately report if any deviation from the ideal process is encountered. This way, even the tiniest mistakes can be spotted and corrected in the initial stages and companies get the ability to avoid pricey mistakes and scale down manufacturing errors.

The advantage of tracking work in progress extends beyond making the production status visible. The data can be used to identify factors like shelf life of the finished goods, depletion of raw materials, things that the defect products have in common and so many useful things to prevent scenarios like bottleneck, supply-demand gap etc.

What is Work in Progress tracking software?

WIP tracking refers to the tracking of the work-in-progress of the production process. Work In Progress tracking software provide production data in real-time, to both the management and the line workers. These solutions optimize productivity by automating traceability, eliminating paperwork, and allowing targeted recalls whenever necessary.

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Additionally, cycle times and other production data can be recorded. These data generally allow engineers to point out bottlenecks and increase output. Manufacturers can see the products that are entering various phases of production on a real-time basis. Managers use this data to make strategic decisions that can improve efficiency and minimize costs. 

Here is a list of the most common parameters that can be tracked:

• Employee Tasks, IDs
Tools, Materials and wastage
Work Orders
Production time and Inventory
Quality Control Data
Production Stations and product numbers
Date and Time
Size, Dimensions and quantity
Production Codes and lot numbers

Work in Progress tracking devices: Barcodes or RFID Tags?

WIP tracking can be accomplished using both barcode labels or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. Manufacturers generally use these trackers to route materials through production processes, supervise choke-points, update manufacturing management systems, provide configuration instructions etc. 

Both technologies reduce human errors, improve accuracy, enhance monitoring, record real-time work-in-process. RFID, however, is a more efficient method.

RFID can perform multiple reads at a time, and works well even in robust environments such as high temperature, vibration, moisture, humidity, and chemical exposure. Also RFID tags are rewritable and can store 100 times more data than barcodes.
 
Benefits of Work in Progress tracking systems
 
WIP systems help in space optimization
Space in the production floor is limited and has to be used optimally. Work in progress tracking systems determine if there’s any space wasted on the floor and help you decide how you can utilize it. Shelf life expiry is also one of the major problems when it comes to manufacturing. Manufacturing WIP tracking systems determine the expiration dates of products and let’s you know which ones to give away first.
 
WIP tracking systems help you eliminate human errors
Human errors has a lot to do with product quality which is why most of the systems in manufacturing are automated. Work in progress tracking systems perform quality checks throughout the manufacturing process and send real-time data to both management and the line workers. This makes sure that no error is left unnoticed and no product is taken past the erroneous stage without being fixed.
 
WIP tracking solutions make the production time efficient
Work in progress tracking systems are all about tracking, measuring and optimization. Managers use the precise output of these system to make sure that none of the workers are ideal and also efficiently plan the optimization of machine downtime. RFID tags help the management identify the movement of outbound goods. This way manufacturers can easily fix the supply-demand gap.
 
WIP tracking systems help you reduce production costs
Continuous monitoring ensures quality control from picking the raw material to dispatching the final product.This helps us maintain the accuracy of inventory levels and helps us recognize the labour and overhead costs. Material tracking systems ensure that the materials for through every stage of  manufacturing. This will eventually prevent returns due to manufacturing defects. Optimization of labor hours and machine downtimes male the production more pocket friendly. Also, prevention of misdirected resources can save you a lot of money. 
 
If you are planning to incorporate RFID based Work in progress tracking systems, try Qunita. The Quinta WIP Tracking is a flexible assembly tracking solution that enables automated logging of Work in progress data as tots/containers move through every production stage.
 
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