Dyer Engineering, a manufacturer of metal components and welded structures, has been using Quuppa’s Bluetooth® based real-time location system (RTLS ) solution in its production facilities for some time. With this asset tracking solution, the company monitors the movement of assets and goods, significantly increasing productivity.
At Dyer Engineering, different types of metals pass through several production areas. As many as 1,000 production orders are executed in the industrial facility at any time – each of them typically involving multiple operations. As a result, nearly 5,000 parts and components are in circulation simultaneously in the two production facilities. If parts and components are lost or misplaced, this can have far-reaching consequences, including:
- Severe production delays caused by an increase in the time required to get production processes up and running
- Work hours lost to manually searching for a misplaced asset within the facility
- Increased operating costs and a resulting decline in productivity
To address these issues on the shop floor, in early 2019, the metal manufacturer decided to implement an asset tracking solution for its production processes.
Requirements for the Real-Time Locating System
As part of a comprehensive tender process, the UK’s center for digital technology innovation, Digital Catapult, took a close look at a number of solutions for Dyer. The requirements for the future real-time locating system were high, including:
- Coverage/Cost Ratio: Due to the size of the installation, the necessary hardware and the associated costs were important factors. This is because the number of RTLS antennas that have to be installed strongly influences the costs for cabling and connectivity.
- Highest Accuracy: Since a large number of systems and components are moving on the shop floor at the same time, the position data of the objects had to have an accuracy of less than half a meter.
- Tracking a Large Number of Assets: The solution should be able to track up to 1,000 assets simultaneously and in real time, as well as provide extensibility.
- Readiness of the Solution: The system needed to be ready to go quickly and provide active monitoring, ongoing support, and maintenance. In addition, the development of detailed plans for the setup, configuration, and operation of the pilot project was desired.