WIP Applications – Tracking Work in Process

WIP tracking is a term used in the manufacturing industry that refers to tracking the work-in-process portion of the production. WIP solutions provide vital manufacturing data in real-time, giving management visibility into the production process while 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 some of the most common information that can be tracked.

  • Employee Tasks
  • Production Time
  • Production Inventory
  • Lot Numbers
  • Date and Time
  • Production Codes
  • Work Orders
  • Production Stations
  • Quality Control Data
  • Wastage
  • Quantity Numbers
  • Tools and Materials
  • Product Numbers
  • Employee IDs
  • Comments and Notes
  • Size and Dimensions

What is Better for WIP Tracking: Both methods can identify and record…

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. RFID allows 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 methods can 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 re-writable 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.