With heavy competition and rising consumer expectations, manufacturing businesses are on the lookout for ways to streamline their operations and improve manufacturing efficiency. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has proven to be an extremely effective solution, allowing workers to quickly identify and track assets by location throughout the supply chain.
Whereas barcode tracking requires a direct line of sight and can only provide a certain level of data, RFID readers can easily track everything within the vicinity, and provide information on assets with pinpoint accuracy.
If you are looking for a way to improve manufacturing efficiency within your operations, here are a few ways RFID can help:
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RFID has made great strides in improving inventory accuracy and providing accurate counts. Rather than requiring manual inventory counts be made, RFID can take in a wider range of data much quicker. Since no direct line of sight is required, you can complete inventory counts in mere minutes.
Strategically placing RFID readers around your warehouse allows you to keep track of progress. This can improve manufacturing efficiency while providing real-time visibility into inventory levels so you can easily monitor inventory levels and prevent against shrinkage. This is useful if you need to track expensive containers, pallets, or even individual assets. You get a real-time view of when products enter and leave your facility.
RFID doesn’t require a direct line of sight, workers don’t have to go and manually find each barcode one by one to scan. By automating your data collection processes, you save on labor and virtually eliminate human error.
When you place sensors at the door, you can enable workers to drive forklifts full of inventory and assets into your warehouse, and it automatically scans all RFID tags as items pass through your doors. Since no direct line of sight is needed, inventory items don’t have to be counted and scanned one-by-one. RFID tags could effectively replace barcode labels so that you can easily collect data and improve manufacturing efficiency through warehouse automation.
Unlike barcodes, RFID technology doesn’t just tell you whether or not an item has been received or is in stock, it also tells you the exact location, which further reduces inventory errors that could be caused by misplaced inventory and drastically improve manufacturing efficiency. The value of RFID increases with the value of the item being tracked, because this method improves both accuracy and security, while helping to increase productivity within your operation itself.
RFID sensors can be placed in a variety of areas around the warehouse, so the nearest sensor can tell workers where an order is located. This expedites the shipping process, because it allows inventory to be easily located without requiring workers to spend time tracking an order down and searching the entire warehouse for it if it isn’t in the correct place. Orders can be picked and shipped in minimal time.
Manufacturing solutions from Honeywell are great at helping boost efficiency, quality control, and workflow automation within your operation. This technology takes labor-intensive tasks and transforms them into simple, efficient processes driven by automation.
Interested in learning more about Honeywell’s manufacturing solutions and how RFID can improve manufacturing efficiency? Contact Informs, Inc. today!
The operating system that drives your enterprise is more than the core beneath your software apps. You’ll be investing deeply in a system that should support your business operations for many years ahead. The costs for licensing, software (now and apps to developed), hardware, and tech support require that you take a close look before you leap.
When Microsoft announced that it will no longer support CE/Windows Mobile in 2020, about 15 million users—90% of the enterprise market— were left with a quandary. Do you stick with that OS until you hit the dead end where you need support and it’s just not there? Do you rewrite your legacy systems? You could also make the OS migration to a system that will be supported in the long run. Android, for example, is picking up steam, not just as a result of Microsoft’s decision, but because developers are recognizing the potential for an enterprise-grade Android system.
What do we mean by “enterprise grade”? Well, as you know, Android is an open-source platform, which causes some IT professionals to cringe at the prospect of managing security. With a powered-up version, like Zebra’s MX Extensions, you gain the added security to maintain a safe environment beyond your single host system. Zebra has taken the desirable familiarity of Android and made it exponentially stronger and more secure.
The next factor in choosing the right operating system for your enterprise is the hardware compatibility. Can you acquire the computers, printers, scanners, and other devices that will work with your OS choice? No one wants to go out and replace all of their technology, so assess what you have. Which devices need to be replaced and which have more life? Is there a way to take a scalable approach to updating your hardware during the OS migration?
With Microsoft pulling out of the market in three years, you have time to ponder your choices, but unless you want to be pressured into making a sudden transition, develop your strategy now. Establish a timeline. If you need help identifying the components and evaluating your choices, contact Informs
Since the dawn of the internet in 1982, new technologies have revolutionized the way we live. From technologies like the iPhone, that have made our daily lives easier, to 3D Printers that have transformed the way we approach problems in healthcare today, each new tool introduced into society, continues to consistently change the way we live.
One area that continues to draw the attention from many is wearable technology. Wearable technology, like the Apple Watch or Google Glass, allows each one of us to utilize merely all expertise available on our smartphones, without having one in tow. Furthermore, these new technologies allow users to make payments, receive weather updates or directions, and even measure their own heartbeats, all in the blink of an eye. Similar to the introduction of the internet, the cell phone, and ultimately the smartphone, wearable technology continues to propel us forward, to the next level.
The consumer world is not the only one that has benefited from wearable technology; life has become much easier in the warehouse too. Wearable solutions in the warehouse have begun to transform processes by improving efficiency and boosting worker productivity, both essential steps needed to compete in the world today. Now more than ever, online shopping has reformed customer behavior. In our ever-changing world, consumers now demand quick delivery to their homes, requiring warehouses to work more efficiently and more accurately than ever before.
The hands-free wearable technology solution: a mobile computer is a multi-modal solution that enables workers to fulfill more orders at a faster and easier pace. This not only increases efficiency, but also improves worker productivity every step of the way. Additionally, the hands-free mobile computer allows workers to provide voice instructions, view items or choose locations on a screen, scan any barcode or RFID tag, and utilize the touchscreen capabilities to enter information accurately and effortlessly. With each of these functions combined, these multi-modal solutions can deliver a dramatic increase in both, productivity and accuracy across the board.
However, these solutions don’t stop at the mobile computer. By combining it with a Bluetooth 1D/2D ring scanner, a Bluetooth or corded headset, or a software solution that allows each worker to create user-friendly applications, your warehouse will have the perfect enterprise-class wearable solution.
Multi-modal solutions, can cut costs in your warehouse, improve worker productivity by 15%, and reduce errors by 39%! These hands-free mobile computers allow your workers to have better range when scanning barcodes or RFID tags and enable them to have better motion tolerance, resulting in less fatigue and muscle cramping for your employees. Moreover, this multi-modal solution receives faster reads and ensures better scanning performance than other leading solutions. Don’t miss out; discover how these latest devices can improve your warehouse, at a fraction of the cost.
One example of how mobile computers are revolutionizing the warehouses in American society today.
Unless mobile computers, associated bar code readers and labels have been designed with features required specifically for use in cold environments, the level of their reliability will fall right along with the temperatures.
Standard device models deliver less-than-sub-standard performance if they are consistently used in freezers or exposed to frequent temperature changes.
Increase efficiency with cold-storage specific hardware for:
- Longer battery life for mobile computers
- Zero condensation on screens of mobile computers and vehicle mount computers
- The most detrimental result of cold storage environments in the short and long term is condensation.
- Quicker read times due to specialized heaters for scanners, specifically for use on fork trucks
Practically every component of a device, from the casing to the internal circuitry, can be optimized for use in cold conditions. Without these adaptations, your devices will not thrive in cold conditions that require the ability to adapt to the environment.
Products to consider in cold environments:
- Mobile Computers
- Engineered specifically for cold storage environments with a cold storage battery
- Vehicle Mount Computers with built-in defrosters
- Scanner heaters for Vehicle Mount Scanners
- Cold temperature specialized adhesive for labels
Workers shouldn’t have to work hard to keep their mobile computers functioning. Contact Informs for more information on how we can help adapt your devices to their environment.
One thing is becoming clear to the modern manufacturer: if they want to continue to succeed, they must develop and execute strategies that embrace technological innovations. Increasingly, manufacturers are leveraging digital technologies, the Internet of Things, and other advances to build better products, operate more efficiently, and communicate more effectively with their customers.
If you aren’t taking the technological leap forward, it’s time to get moving – your competitors may already be there. The majority of CEOs at industrial manufacturing firms today recognize the significance of technological advances for engaging customers, cybersecurity, and data mining and analysis. More than 75% regard using mobile technologies as important to their overall strategy.
For companies that are generally slower to adapt, seizing the latest digital innovation opportunities isn’t an intuitive strategy. After all, industrial manufacturing is not the technology sector. However, this makes it even more crucial to analyze your businesses and see how technology (in all of its different forms) might benefit your company.
One important place to look is what’s known as the Internet of Things (IoT)—you’ve probably heard this word buzzing around the technology industry a lot this year. The IoT is easy to understand; it’s basically a network of devices that are connected digitally and communicate with each other to provide manufacturers data about those devices. Connected devices and new data flows have already made substantial headway in manufacturing, with an expectation that this pace will only accelerate.
Currently, 35% of manufacturers in the United States collect and use data generated by smart devices to enhance manufacturing and operating processes, and an additional 17% plan to do so in the next three years.
These manufacturers are leveraging more data in their operations and responding to customer needs by embedding intelligence into their products to increase functionality. By tracking product performance over lifecycles, these businesses are able to increase their efficiency and focus on their own product-related services.
Still, the majority of manufacturers have yet to engage with this technology. If you’re one of them, ask yourself if you’re falling behind the curve and letting those who are engaging the IoT gain a competitive edge. It’s up to manufacturing CEOs to develop strategies that seize innovation opportunities that will help their companies do business better—and grab customers from competitors that don’t.
The technology you choose to implement in your warehouse can make or break your operations. Here are the three big ways you can measure whether your technology is helping or harming:
- Intelligent Production: Manufacturing processes are like networks, the more connected they are, the more effective they are. To truly streamline operations, your workforce should be able to communicate with each other, with the machines they operate, and with the materials they process, all in real-time.
- Flawless Fulfillment: It’s all about turning inventory into revenue. Businesses are built on the right goods getting to the right place at the right time. The logistics to make it happen converge in your warehouses and distribution centers, where you should be able to see, in real-time, what you have and where it needs to go.
- Dynamic Service: From your customer’s point of view, service is the sum total of all your efforts. To grow economies of scale and scope, your first focus should be serving the customers you already have. Your operations personnel should be delivering the highest level of service at the lowest cost per interaction.
How does your warehouse compare?