Digitized material flow analysis

August 6, 2019  |  Got questions about this?

Digitize your material flow with CargoBeacon precise location. With continuous material flow analysis real-time-data and historic data will always be available, prefect for your daily control board. With facts clearly visible it becomes easy to get everyone onboard and prioritize your work around continuous improvements.

Improve efficiency

Raw material, sub-assemblies and smaller parts are assembled into larger parts in the manufacturing industry. These are parts are refined to finally become a product ready to be delivered. A great deal of work is being done to improve efficiency in all leading manufacturing factories. This work is often led as part of ongoing continuous improvement processes. To minimize waste it is important to ensure that material always travel the shortest possible route and is available just-in-time when needed. To understand this flow of material a material flow analysis can be performed.

This is often done through manual work by making notes of finished assembly steps, collecting stamps in material handling systems and even by using a camera that record material travelling through the production plant.

The Solution

As part of CargoBeacon’s precise location is powered by the Quuppa Intelligent Locating System™, we can subsequently play back and trace the trajectory for material that has traveled through the production. For an example that is easily understandable; lets follow a customer basket in retail having a BLE tag attached to the basket and with indoor, precise location system deployed in the store. In an industrial context the basket could represent a general load carrier.

 

Precise location data player

  • To the upper right we see an indoor map divided into different colored zones and a trajectory describing the journey for a specific customer. These zones define the location of different items in the store such as bread, dairy products, cashiers etc.
  • At the bottom table you will find the zone history describing the total distribution of time spent between zones for a defined period of time. The total distance traveled and total time spent per zone is also displayed.
  • In the upper left a color encoded indoor map (also called heatmap) describes where customers, or material in an industrial context, travel frequently and less frequently. This is a great view to find narrow paths and to visualize bottle neck problems.
  • To the left a graph in blue describes the velocity for the basket, or the material. Maybe the mean velocity varies between different shifts? Then you could start working on that particular problem.

With BLE tags attached to your parts and load carriers the same analysis can be performed for your operations.

Results

Material flow analyses are often triggered when there are obvious problems – this could be when material for a certain assembly steps always arrive late or maybe in the wrong quantity. As you digitize the flow of material it becomes easy to quantify the scope of different problems and to put time and cost on various improvement measures. With data available, one can easily prioritize and count on ROI for different measures.

When the material flow has been digitized, it is of course close at hand to use the same system to investigate how staff moves during work and to minimize bottleneck problems by looking into what steps in the production that takes the longest time to complete. We often see Return of Investment within a year as soon as it is part of someone’s job to manually follow material or to search for lost items. In addition to saving staff time, the system builds a wealth of knowledge around improvements that result in additional savings.