Next Generation: Mobile IoT sensors for weight based KANBAN.
PRESS RELEASE: New wireless sensors to automate material management and replenishment are smaller, easier to operate, versatile, future proof.
In 2019 Skandinavia based BUFAB, a major industrial supplier, named a handful of international “solution selling” competitors in Europe – among them Fabory, Böllhoff, Würth Group, Bossard.
All of them already make use of a portfolio of “automation” technologies to capture demand from their customers, control access for material retrieval, and streamline logistics.
Technologies aim at cutting manual, repetitive and failure-prone tasks in order to improve efficiency both for industrial consumer and suppliers. With the Internet of Things enabling more wireless application the next step was foreseeable.
Non-disputable trend for leaders:
TOP 5 C-parts suppliers are showing the way – either they already launched, are preparing to launch or evaluate a “wireless single-bin-Kanban sensor solution”. Although means of measurement seem alike, they follow different strategies. Some match sensors to their own bin sizes and with their brand-logo, some dive into application niches by adding signalling or location tracking features to create “premium” solutions. Some intentionally keep the solution more versatile to fit a variety of bins, applications and target industries.
And TeDaLoS ist taking it’s stake as European manufacturer and supplier of such solutions.
Know what’s inside that bin:
Sensors to look inside a bin, weigh a shipping tote or measure volumes inside a container a not new. Finally the progress in price of hardware and availability of wireless connectivity, long battery range, etc. allow the next step.
A “wireless single-bin Kanban solution to detect consumption of material within a bin” is here to stay, as part of a wide range of “material management” and digitized demand recognition solutions. Existing solutions like vending machines, 2-bin KANBAN- RFID or barcode solutions, load sensing racks, etc. have been “installation and tech heavy” and don’t fit for an increasing number of material flow and logistics procedures that are drafted to be mobile, flexible, dynamically rearranged, out/insourced to enable the advantages of lean manufacturing, smart factory and “mass customization”.
Mobile first – for sensor devices and software:
Since 2016 TeDaLoS focuses on load sensing with fully mobile devices with preprovisioned connection to the TeDaLoS Cloud Software, that easily integrate and retrofit to any bin, shelf, storage position, pallet rack, etc. With a portfolio of standard sensor sizes and OEM versions TeDaLoS covers almost any material group from liquids, chemicals, material-by-the-meter, small parts, etc, and from measuring weight in tons (like liquids in IBC shipping totes) as well as grams (like screws in a bin). With an extended function set including weight sensing, movement, temperature and location detection TeDaLoS is deployed in a variety of use cases from the assembly work bench to monitoring quantity and condition of raw materials. But most important, TeDaLoS comes as one-stop solution including wireless and managed network services, managed cellular uplink and a dedicated online software called “TeDaLoS Cloud”. The cloud, provided as SaaS, manages devices and connectivity, creates inventory reports (in units of your articles instead of the weight measurement), history charts of consumption per article+cost center instead of “per sensor”, provide live data via a browser or smartphone and allows separate access layers for suppliers and their customers. Material suppliers – in most cases they don’t provide an online platform yet – favor providing cloud access to their clients with the whitelabel version (in suppliers’ corporate design) of the TeDaLoS Cloud, instantly creating an online-portal for their clients to retrieve inventory reports 24/7 as self-service with a single click. Via standard data interfaces demand and inventory levels are fed to suppliers’ and/or customers’ IT systems to efficiently trigger standard procedures without manual interference.
Time to market:
With applications already in place and industrial manufacturers asking for solutions to match their modern manufacturing procedures there is little time to develop from scratch. Especially material and parts suppliers need to be fast to the market with automation solutions to secure and even lock-in major customers for the future. Manual inspection will still be used as method to capture demand but will fade fast due to efficient and easy to deploy automation technologies – such as TeDaLoS.
With a fully integrated and managed technology and data flow stack – from sensor, wireless connectivity, a device and material management online platform and data integration with IT systems – TeDaLoS already services clients across Europe in a variety of industries and sees a strong focus of international as well as local wholesalers to add “mobile and sensorbased inventory monitoring” to better serve their clients.
Thomas Tritremmel, CEO of TeDaLoS advises: “We recommend well established international companies to look beyond their traditional competitive landscape when analyzing trends.” With Amazon having launched the “smart shelf” (a Wi-Fi load scale connected to the Amazon account to manage replenishments…) as an improved way to lock-in private and B2B clients through convenience there will be more competition from disruptors.
“Make or buy” technology decisions of corporates might tend to go for “make”, most often not taking development, industrialization, security and future operational (engineers, back office, IT experts) efforts into account. Disruptors and the Internet of Things set client and user expectations: quick, easy, out-of-the-box, mobility of hardware and software.
What clients are saying: “TeDaLoS is the fastest-to-be-put-into-operation solution we have seen so far. The no-technician-approach helps us promote and roll-out new projects with less resources.”
TeDaLoS systems ship to clients with no setup training required. Sensors carry a unique ID and are activated by inserting a battery. Encrypted data communication with the Cloud Software needs no local IT integration. Associating ID and material inlcuding alarm thresholds is done online from your workplace, home office or mobile on your smartphone.
Thomas Tritremmel concludes: “Simplicity, scalability and the one-stop-product cut hurdles to enter the IoT Kanban topic for industrial suppliers, even if your are not an international player.”