Customer Use Case: Raw material in various shapes and containers
In our new “Use Cases” series we want to regularly present best practice examples from our customers. This time we will show you how our customer solved his problems with with monitoring raw material in various shapes and containers using TeDaLoS sensors and cloud.
The problem: Monitoring materials in various physical forms and storage containers
Materials needed for the production process have different physical forms: Liquid, gel, granules, powder. In addition, they come in different containers, one article in a 1000 litre IBC tank, the next article in 15 litre cans on a pallet, another article in 20 KG bags on a pallet. The materials are partly consumed and in different proportions. For example, from one IBC the material is taken by tap, for the next article the whole IBC is put to the machine, some 15 litre cans are consumed as a whole, from the 20 KG bags it is taken by the shovel according to the recipe. In the event of supply bottlenecks, the same material is sometimes delivered in a different container form/content quantity.
All this prevents a timely and process-safe electronic booking, e.g. by means of barcode scanning, so that manual recording has to be used. For this purpose, protocols are provided in paper form in order to manually record the time and quantity of the withdrawal. Often, the warehouse manager is informed of the removed quantity on sticky notes or verbally for booking out in the IT system.
These recording processes are highly manual, waste specialist time resources, are not timely – as they are often only entered into the IT system once a week – and are highly error-prone. In addition, these processes make it impossible to do an inventory report based on the data in the IT system, so physical intermediate counts are done, which proves impossible with granular materials or opaque containers.
These time lags and inaccuracies in recording result in high safety stocks of often expensive materials, occupation of additional storage space and a lack of or delayed recognition of peak demand.
The solution: Retrofit TeDaLoS wireless sensors
Wireless sensor units are retrofitted to the storage location without changing the supplier’s logistics or the company’s handling procedures. A new investment in warehouse equipment or IT network is not necessary. The virtual assignment of sensor unit, article and storage location is done remotely and can be changed remotely at any time. Training of employees or warehouse staff is not necessary. The unattended monitoring of the content quantities to the exact piece now makes automatic inventory management possible. The content quantity in the containers or packaging units is precisely measured and converted into the correct unit of measurement for your warehouse or resource management system. The sensor units are not fixed to a single location and can be “relocated” independently. The digital measured values about the current stock are transmitted several times a day independently and wirelessly to the TeDaLoS cloud software. This means that the current stock level can be viewed online without having to manually log or type out withdrawals. Historical consumption curves are displayed on smartphones or PCs. Threshold values defined online trigger reorder requests.
The result: Cost reduction, availability improvement
Withdrawals from the storage location, even partial withdrawals from the pallet or from the container, are immediately available online as digital information. Even storage locations for material distributed in the company can be viewed digitally by the buyer and warehouse manager. Ordering points are recognised at an early stage and it is easier to identify and allocate the cause of consumption peaks. Below a freely defined minimum level, an alarm notification is also sent containing all important data for reordering. In this way, urgent requirements are no longer overlooked. Standard interfaces to IT systems ensure that stocks are transferred and recorded in the merchandise management system. Intermediate inventories can now be called up online without visual inspections as a push of a button and with real stock quantities. Manual error-prone processes have been eliminated, consumption made visible over time, availability improved through early identification of demand, and a reduction in safety stock, storage space requirements and tied-up capital achieved.
If you have a similar problem, have a look at our 2-month test packages!