RFID for Inventory Control in Manufacturing Operations

Managing inventory levels in a cost-effective and revenue-driven manner can be difficult, even for the most experienced manufacturer. Without access to effective software to help automate inventory control processes, properly managing inventory levels can be quite the challenge for manufacturers. AssetPulse RFID asset tracking software helps to automate inventory management.

RFID Inventory Control in Manufacturing Operations

RFID Inventory Control in Manufacturing Operations

AssetPulse’s RFID inventory control capabilities allow manufacturers to automate their processing based off of previous purchasing trends and can even set reminder alerts to replenish raw material orders when needed. With real time inventory data, inventory control becomes less of a pain point and more a background process.

How inventory is traditionally managed?

There are many different approaches to control inventory. The spreadsheet is an oft-used basic method using a variety of columns to track data. A column is used to deduct what is sold. Additionally, a log for returns and new incoming stock is maintained. It requires continuous manual monitoring to ensure every transaction is accounted for. Of course, this is an incredibly labor-intensive process. The information is difficult to share, and extremely vulnerable to human error. People are prone to make mistakes––mistakes that are difficult to track and result in inaccurate inventory numbers.

Forecasting Demand

A manufacturer relies on inventory to complete a finished product for which they expect to get paid. For example, an aerospace manufacturer has millions of dollars in parts in their inventory of raw materials that they include in the finished product.

Forecasting demand is essential for any business. For a manufacturer, this means having enough inventory on hand to meet this demand. If a manufacturer fails to forecast demand and orders too little inventory, they face the possibility of losing customers to a competitor. A late order may come at a higher expense, as supplier prices rise due to increased demand. If the manufacturer overestimates demand and orders too much inventory, they have capital tied up in excess inventory and have to incur additional storage costs.

AssetPulse RFID Asset Tracking solutions

Inventory management can be automated with the help of AssetPulse RFID asset tracking solutions. RFID tags are affixed onto the items that are inventoried. With the help of Fixed RFID readers or handheld RFID scanners, inventory data is updated in real-time or periodically, whichever is preferred.

This inventory data is centrally stored in a web based system that can be readily accessed from anywhere. Additionally, AssetPulse RFID asset tracking solutions also alert users when inventory levels are running below par. All this happens automatically without any human intervention, thereby making the otherwise time consuming process very efficient and accurate.

The RFID asset tracking software also has different reports including historical reports which enables manufacturers to forecast a demand and stock required inventory.

RFID in Manufacturing Helps Gain Better Visibility Into Production Data

One of AssetPulse’s customers integrated RFID into the production work flow. Goods manufactured are embedded with unique RFID tags and each RFID asset data gets mapped to unique serial number of item being manufactured.

It is quite essential for management to get visibility into the number of goods manufactured in a given period of time and get other granular details like the quantity of the type of items manufactured per day, per shift and so on. Based on the production data, management can address any efficiency issues that might exist or bring about a process change for the better.

Without RFID all these information had to be tracked manually by feeding data into a spreadsheet or a register, which was prone to manual errors. Additionally, verifying produced goods involved manually sorting and counting them, which is quite time consuming. More importantly, archiving and reporting historical production data required intensive data mining.

RFID in manufacturing process

Now, with RFID asset tracking introduced in the manufacturing process, each and every item that gets manufactured is embedded with an RFID tag. AssetPulse asset tracking software feeds RFID data along with serial number of the item manufactured, time of manufacture, shift timing and other relevant information into a spreadsheet which is then packaged along with the production slip. RFID scanner is used to scan 100’s of produced goods in a fraction of minute and this is cross-verified against the production slip to ensure integrity of the production lot. Cross-verifying a production lot used to take at least an hour without RFID earlier.

AssetPulse asset tracking software archives the production data which is used for easier reporting and data analytics. If the manufactured goods are returned servicing or for RMA, then with the help of the unique RFID tag that is embedded, it is very easy to identify the manufacturing details of the product such as date of manufacture, batch and quantities manufactured in the batch etc. This data can be used in identifying production, QA or manufacturing issues and appropriate corrective actions can be taken.

Basically, RFID in manufacturing process provides visibility of the process as well as statistical data, all of which can be used for increasing efficiency. Want to know if RFID is the right technology for your tracking project? Contact us today.