WIP Applications - Tracking Work in Process
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WIP tracking is a term used in the manufacturing industry that refers to the tracking of the work-in-process portion of production. WIP solutions provide vital manufacturing data in real-time, giving management visibility into the production process while also providing data to line workers.
WIP Tracking Uses Production Data to Improve Operations
WIP tracking solutions improve productivity by eliminating manual paperwork, automating traceability and allowing for specifically targeted recalls when necessary. In addition, cycle times and other manufacturing data can be recorded, which allows engineers to spot bottlenecks and increase production output.
Manufacturers can see which products are entering various phases of production in real time. This, along with other pertinent manufacturing details, enables managers to make strategic decisions that improve efficiency and reduce costs. BCI has helped many companies track and record various types of production output data. The list below shows the some of most common information that can be tracked.
- Employee Tasks
- Production Stations
- Employee IDs
- Date and Time
- Work Orders
- Product Numbers
- Lot Numbers
- Quantity Numbers
- Tools and Materials
- Production Inventory
- Size and Dimensions
- Production Time
- Quality Control Data
- Comments and Notes
- Production Codes
What is Better for WIP Tracking: Barcodes or RFID Tags?
WIP tracking can be accomplished with either barcode or radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Manufacturers use a variety of labels and RFID tags to route materials through automated production processes, monitor choke-points, provide real-time updates to manufacturing management systems, communicate configuration instructions and much more.
Other benefits include:
- Barcodes provide highly reliable identification and tracking.
- RFID is also reliable and provides enhanced efficiency. RFIDallows for multiple reads at one time, and works in extreme environments such as high heat, vibration, moisture and chemical exposure.
- Both methods will reduce human errors and improve accuracy through enhanced production monitoring.
- Both methods will improve efficiency and productivity by eliminating manual paperwork and automating employee processes.
- Both methodscan identify and record real-time components, assemblies and other work-in-process. RFID, however, will typically be a more efficient method.
- Both methods provide a measurable ROI through lower labor requirements, fewer errors and reduced costs.
- RFID tags are rewritable and do more than just identify. They can also update pertinent information throughout the production process. Examples include configuration information, operator and inspector IDs, quality control test results, data from sensors, timestamps and lot numbers.
WIP tracking solution scan involve barcode scanning, RFID technology or both. It’s a matter of finding the most cost effective and efficient way to accomplish the goals of a given company. RFID tags are more expensive than barcode technology, but in some cases it can provide a quicker ROI.
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See the documents below for more information on Work-in-Process Tracking