Transforming the Production Floor with Real Time Asset Tracking

Parker-Hannifin Stratoflex reduced the time needed to locate a key production asseta manufacturing templatefrom hours to minutes with an XX reduction in costs and an XX increase in productivity. 

“We have reduced the number of calls from people looking for things from multiple per day to 1 or 2 per week.”

Overview

Parker-Hannifin Stratoflex/Multi-National Aerospace Company

Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America

 

Industry

Manufacturing

 

Solution

Area Indoor Real Time Location

 

Challenge
  • Automatically track wiring harness templates across a production facility in real time
  • Reduce manual tracking of assets by central tool storage department
  • Increase staff efficiency
  • Reduce product and asset loss

 

Solution

BlueCats Bluetooth LE Readers and Tags plus BlueCats LoopLocal software enables high value wiring harness templates to be tracked in real time

 

Results
  • Time to locate specific assets reduced to minutes, not hours
  • Loss or misplacement of assets eliminated
  • Increase in efficiency improves productivity and increases margins in a competitive industry
  • Improved workflow increases throughput and improves cashflow
The Company

With operations in fifty-five countries on six continents, the world’s most innovative aircraft manufacturers and engine makers rely on Parker-Hannifin Stratoflex’s proficiency in developing and manufacturing components and aircraft subsystems such flight control systems, hydraulic systems, fuel and lubrication systems.

The Challenge

Parker-Hannifin Stratoflex produces subsystems including components such as bent tube assemblies that need to be manufactured to extremely tight tolerances. Each assembly uses templates that are customised to suit each aircraft or specialised vehicle. These templates, which cost between US$10,000 and $15,000 apiece, are stored in a central repository.

As part of a typical workflow, an employee would receive a bent tube assembly build as a job and they would check out the relevant template from the central tool storage department. Once the assembly was complete, they would check the template back in with the central tool storage department so the tool would be ready for when it was needed again.

Sometimes employees would short circuit the process by borrowing a template from another employee or keeping a template because they knew they would be building the same assembly in the near future. Other times, humans being humans, an employee simply forgot to check it back in to the central tool storage department.

These breakdowns in procedure meant that records of what template was where in the production facility became inaccurate and it could sometimes take hours to find a particular template. This led to considerable disruptions in workflow as sometimes finding the correct template would take longer than the actual build. These interruptions would cascade back through the workflow leading to more delays and at times the loss of a template would stop work on a particular product line completely.

The Solution

As it is only necessary to get within a few meters of a template, Parker-Hannifin Stratoflex partnered with BlueCats to address these challenges by implementing a real time tracking solution – BlueCats Bluetooth Low Energy Grid. Derived from the original Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE uses the same band and offers similar range at considerably reduced power consumption and cost.

Each harness template was fitted with a Bluetooth LE Tag and BlueCats Readers were installed throughout the facility and networked with BlueCats LoopLocal software. This combination allows employees to see the location of a harness within a few meters, in real time.

The Results

By installing the BlueCats Bluetooth LE Grid solution, Parker-Hannifin Stratoflex gained constant real time visibility of each wiring harness no matter where it was on the production floor.

The massive improvement in workflow enabled by the implementation of BlueCats Bluetooth LE Tags, Readers and LoopLocal software resulted in a reduction in search time for templates from hours to minutes which meant a XX % cost savings in reduced person hours across the production facility.

In addition, the implementation of the BlueCats solution has produced cost savings through eliminating or greatly reducing the loss of expensive templates and automating the check in and check out of templates through the central tool storage department.

Overall, through implementing the BlueCats Bluetooth LE Grid solution, Parker-Hannifin Stratoflex has increased efficiency in production by XX % leading to a XX return on investment (ROI).

About BlueCats

BlueCats provides solutions to create safer, more efficient and productive workplaces. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with U.S. offices in Austin, Texas, and Huntsville, Alabama, BlueCats specializes in real time proximity and sensing technology to increase safety and productivity. For more information, visit www.bluecats.com.

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