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.
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
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.