What is Work in Process (WIP) Tracking

Enhancing product production time Every production process seeks to enhance its production time. When raw materials pass through different manufacturing stages, they are often placed into a container or tote as they move from one station to another. If the flows of these raw materials is better aligned to the demand and build requirements, production time becomes lean and optimized. Ensuring product quality Quality control throughout the manufacturing process ensures that the finished product meets the specifications and any applicable certifications. To do this, pre-determined validation at critical steps, line-sequencing, and parts verification applications are implemented. This is often tough to ensure, as it is difficult to manually validate the process flow. Monitoring and tracking production history WIP materials are difficult to track because they move from process to process. This is why an improved visibility of work in process is desired on every shop floor. Not only is proof required to show that products have completed all the required manufacturing steps; by tracking the history of each component, information can be stored for shipping purposes and possible recalls.

Work-in-Process (WIP) Tracking using RFID

Enabling RFID technology to track WIP during manufacturing production provides vital data that can be accessed in real-time to give managers greater visibility into the production process. Most manufacturing environments require products to go through a series of distinct assembly stages. The subassemblies or raw materials become WIP, and are passed from one station (or location) to another. This is where RFID technology provides the advantage: each WIP (or the tote/container it is carried in) can be uniquely identified using RFID tags. As WIP passes from station to station, the tags provide information on the status of the components as each stage of the manufacturing process is reached. The information is then relayed to the RFID WIP Tracking System to allow for an efficient and timely recording of data. RFID benefit on tracking WIP extends beyond production status visibility; it also works to notify the depletion of raw materials for efficient inventory management and completion data can be recorded for Quality Control inspection purposes. RFID is an indispensable technology when used with WIP because it can report immediate deviations and exceptions that occur in any process. This gives companies the ability to eliminate costly mistakes and reduce manufacturing errors.  RFID provides a company the ability to identify, time-stamp, and confirm the location of all elements being measured so that the data can be used to improve the quality of its process outputs.

Can you benefit from using RFID for Work-in-Process Tracking?

Want to know how using RFID to track WIP will help your business? The following questions can help you to decide: Do you need to manage multiple products within a single assembly line? By using RFID to track your WIP materials, you can ensure real-time data of all WIP progress across all stations. Since each RFID tag is unique, every item can be tracked based on its product line, even though it is processed on the same assembly line. Do you manufacture products that are based on time-bound processes? If your production items rely on time-bound processes such as curing, baking, or fermentation, RFID can help ensure timing is checked and reject items based on process criteria. Do you need to manage specialty options within a production line? Information can be stored on the RFID tags assigned to each part of an item. This provides the ability to track special operations that may have been performed on particular products that require specialty options. Do you manufacture complex or customized products in multiple plants at multiple locations? When RFID is integrated as a manufacturing tool, information can be transferred across the enterprise, thereby reducing costly mistakes and excess labor expenses Do you want to have comprehensive WIP data across all stages of production? RFID technology provides traceability of all WIP to individual stations or even operators who worked on the product. If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then the GAO RFID WIP Tracking System can help you automate and improve your manufacturing activities.]]>

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