An internationally operating manufacturer in the automotive sector has 3 European-based sites with a total of 12 production lines. As part of a "Ready for Industry 4.0" initiative, Winckel worked together with the manufacturer on improving its intralogistics procedures. This resulted in implementation of an RFID-based real-time information and control system that has optimised procedures across the entire company.
The customer produces both semi-finished and finished parts. The semi-finished parts are moved between sites via a stand-alone intralogistics system. The finished parts are distributed via a central warehouse located at the German site.
Increased error rates were identified in the intralogistics system due to a lack of transparency in the flow of goods as well as time-consuming manual recording procedures. These problems resulted in the need for extra transports, overproduction and a corresponding increase in stock levels.
- At all 3 sites, a total of 9 RFID detection points and RFID printers have been installed at picking points prior to goods being transferred to the dispatch warehouses. RFID detection enables dispatch units to be automatically recorded and allocated to dispatch warehouse areas.
- 7 RFID detection points were also installed at incoming/outgoing goods points to ensure continuous recording of all semi-finished and finished at the different sites.
- In addition, the two access points in the high-bay storage as well as 6 picking stations at the central warehouse were equipped with RFID detection points enabling dispatch units to be converted into customer-order based units.
- Outgoing goods and returns processing in the central warehouse have also been equipped with a total of 4 RFID detection points to enable checking of customer-order dispatches.
Implementation at a process level
- AMIA® retrieves data from a SAP production order in real time and links it at the picking stations with the reusable transport containers marked with RFID transponders. This means that dispatch units can be recorded automatically at the picking point. An RFID dispatch label is generated and data records concerning the shipping unit transferred to SAP.
- At incoming/outgoing goods points at each site’s dispatch warehouse, dispatch units are automatically recorded and checking for completeness is made against the planned dispatch request. The RFID data is transferred to SAP. This process can be performed for both finished and semi-finished parts.
- AMIA® records the RFID data of the dispatch units in the high-bays and passes it on to the warehouse management software system (WMS) as well as to SAP in the event of goods being taken out of storage. At the central warehouse’s 6 picking stations, the previously generated dispatch units are analysed by the system and regenerated after the picking process has been successful. The data is passed on to SAP and a check is made for completeness in accordance with the picking request.
- At incoming/outgoing goods points at the central warehouse, dispatch units are automatically recorded and checked for completeness against the planned customer order.
Implementation at an information level
- Visualisation and monitoring of KPI's in real time
Together with the customer, a comprehensive system for monitoring process and company-relevant parameters has been implemented using a range of dashboards.
- Messaging in real time
At certain predefined conditions, test messages and/or emails are sent in real time.
- Statistics and reports
The implemented statistic system enables the customer, for example, to visualise their ongoing KPIs over a predefined period of time. A range of statistical features and reports for specific customer requirements have also been implemented.
- The ROI period for this project was approximately 22 months.
- The optimisation of procedures has led to a significant increase in efficiency as well as high customer satisfaction.