By Pravinraj Panicker
In Asset Tracking

What is the Thing in Internet of Things

The Thing in ‘Internet of Things’ could be an asset, a person or a key process parameter, that a Production Manager would want to measure and improve……..

Production Line Enabling

As a Production Manager, you may have one or more of these Problems

  • Improving Process Efficiency by reducing TAKT (Process Turnaround Time)
  • Pallet Tracking in-house and at vendor locations
  • Asset Tracking in-house and at vendor locations
  • Vehicle Tracking 
  • Forklift Tracking and Optimization
  • Casual Labor Tracking 

What do I do as a Production Manager?

  • Identify Key Pain Areas and Process Improvisation Opportunities
  • Workout Tangible outcomes e.g. TAKT to reduce by 20%, Yield per day to increase by 10% in one month and so on
  • Select a small business case/process area
  • Work out all the challenges, Inputs, and outputs to the system
  • Seek and Solution Provider and work out candidates for digitalization
  • Identify Automation Opportunities using IoT
  • Defined Dashboards and key metrics for predictable gains and Hyper Decisions
  • Roll-out POC plan and execute
  • Observe outcomes and then scale to bigger process applications

Solution to Business Problems

Improving Process Efficiency by reducing TAKT (Process Turnaround Time)

IoT Production Dashboard

Pain Area

  • Too much time gets  wasted using manual processes for material requests from stores
  • Time wasted in holding production line for want of material from vendor
  • Production Delays due to a technical issue on assembly lines and delayed resolution

Solution Approach

A heterogeneous ISAE (Intelligent Systems Around Everything) Framework based on IoT that connects Pallets, Production Jobs, ANDON Calls, People and Material to give:

  • Real-time production status of a production line on a huge TV screen (As seen above) 
  • The TV screen depicts the following and can be used for hyper decision making based on real-time data
  • In Progress work stations with lapsed and planned process time (purple color blocks)
  • Material or Assistance calls (color red), These are called warehouse kanban or ANDON calls
  • Normal operations (color green)
  • Inferences in numbers for Week, Month and Quarter as seen on the screen for predictive analysis and planning

Business Benefits

  • Up to 30% Improved TAKT resulting in ROI and savings
  • 10% to 30%Capacity enhancement resulting in better yield
  • Customer Delight due to timely and quality deliverable

Pallet Tracking in-house and at vendor locations

how pallet tracking works
pallet tracking solution

Pain Area

  • Pallets at various locations and vendors not available in time or have been inefficiently used
  • This causes production delays or damage to products due to wrong pallets
  • Revenue losses due to lost pallets, unaccounted for pallets, and subsequently new pallet manufacturing when already pallets are at the vendor location

Solution Approach

  • Enabling smart pallets with the use of BLE Tags and BLE Gateways. 
  • Putting the information on Web using Real-Time Location System and ISAE framework
  • Putting the Gateways in Trucks to track Pallets in Transit and estimated time to arrive
  • Realtime dashboard on Laptops and TV screens for hyper decision making

Business Benefits

  • Save 100% of revenue lost in misuse of pallets by Vendors
  • Accurate location of pallets helps plan delivery and saves TAKT by 20% or more
  • Cost of pallet manufacturing can be reduced by upto 30%
  • ROI can be realised within 2 months of implementation

Detailed Solution available on Warehouse Pallet Tracking

Asset Tracking in-house and at vendor locations

Asset tracking

Pain Area

  • Assets at various locations in-house and at vendor shops
  • These include Dies, Jigs and Fixtures 
  • Finding the location of assets during health audit is a major pain area and impacts audit timelines and data relevance
  • Finding the location and tracking of assets on demand becomes a bottleneck in a manual process system

Solution Approach

  • Onboard all assets on the system using BLE Tags and Gateways devices
  • Put the information on Web using Real-Time Location System and ISAE framework
  • On-demand audits and health checks using custom apps
  • Real-time dashboard on Asset Age, Health, and Location details
  • Analytics for decision making
  • Digitalization of asset movement and tracking

Business Benefits

  • Save 100% of revenue lost in misuse of assets by vendors
  • Accurate location of assets helps ensures securing stakeholders interest
  • 70% cost reduction in audits due to automation 
  • ROI can be realised within 6 months of implementation

Vehicle Tracking

Vehicle Tracking

Pain Areas

  • Tracking of Vehicles in Yard and big areas is a manual process and takes hours to search
  • Tracking and Scheduling Supplier vehicles is a great challenge
  • Vehicles in indoor locations and time at each location is unaccounted for and manually reported introducing efficiency and delay in dispatch 

 

Solution Approach

  • Asset tags go on sun visors of vehicles
  • BLE Relays are placed at locations that need to be tracked at the micro level
  • BLE gateways cover a wider range and transmit signals received from Relays to IoT servers using WiFi
  • Onboarding and Mapping against Vehicle Identification Number is done using a mobile app
  • Once on the system Vehicles is seen on a virtual floor and can be tracked in real-time
  • Real-time dashboard on dwell time and location inference available for management decisions in real-time synthesis

Business Benefits

  • Reduction in GATE TAKT for supplier vehicles 20% or more
  • Production of automobile and it’s delivery 100% Predictable for automobile industries resulting in customer delight
  • Hyper Decision making using real-time dashboards
  • Ready for Future Capacity Planning based on historical data

Forklift Tracking and Optimizing

Fork Lift Asset Tracking

Pain Area

  • Not knowing how many forklifts are really needed in production increases the holding cost of forklifts
  • Path optimizations where dozens of forklifts are used is very important to generate savings

Solution Approach

  • BLE based asset tags with accelerometer goes on the forklifts 
  • BLE relays are placed in the pathway at a reasonable distance for a range
  • BLE Gateways are placed at intermediate locations – 
  • A web app with a floor map for real-time location tracking is made available to users
  • The web has a default dashboard with basic analysis on forklift movement and inferences
  • An application server has the data and application code
  • IoT server is hosted on QuicSolv’s cloud or local datacenter for Forklift location data from gateways and sending back information to the application server

Business Benefits

Based on industry-standard practices and past experience of experts in the area of cost optimization we could think of the following value to the business.

  • Reducing number of forklifts – based on Industry analysis we have seen at least 10% to 15% fleet can be reduced after data analysis of actual usage
  • Substantial Savings – Based on real-life applications we have achieved as high as 15% Savings within two months of implementation.

Casual Labor Tracking (Dynamic Production Planning)

track trace

Pain Areas

  • Contractors or in-time labor is a boon but it is very difficult to mange their productivity 
  • Tracking them on the job is very difficult as they are not on the main HR channel
  • Billing/invoicing and security are big challenges when it comes to casual labor

Solution Approach

  • BLE based ID cards assigned to Casual Labors
  • Gateways go in Pick-up Bus and Real-time Locations on shop floors
  • Before one is logging into the gate the real-time picture of the strength of the team is known well in advance
  • This help replanning and dynamic changes to scheduled deliverable

Business Benefits

  • 20% time saved in re-planning
  • 30% cost saving in production losses
  • 100% ROI in 6 months

Click here to know more on Dynamic Planning and Control

General IoT Architecture for Production Line

about how iot works
  • BLE Tags are used on Pallets, Vehicles and Assets send singles of their location
  • BLE ID cards are used to allocate human resources to operations and for visitors
  • Zone Mapping is done using BLE Relays which also receive Signals from Tags and ID cards and transmit to Gateway Devices
  • Gateways  are devices which receive signals from Relays over BLE and Transmit to IoT server over WiFi
  • IoT processes that data and gives it to the Application server where the business logic is applied and send to a web portal for display
  • The display is done using Mobile Devices, laptops, tablets and TV screens

Business Value of Implementing IoT Based Processes

  • Real-time Tracking  of Process parameters and Critical Operations
  • Asset, People and Vehicle Tracking
  • Reduced TAKT for all operations thereby greater capacity and higher revenue growth
  • Hyper Decision making looking and live dashboards
  • Data Analytics 
  • Better Control over Production Processes
  • Asset Mapping and location tracking at finger tips – smooth audits
  • Predictable delivery of products
  • Customer delight
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