Asset tracking and monitoring solutions are proven to be valuable in commercial industries. An RTLS (Real Time Location System) improves workplace processes, such as improving process efficiencies and helping with loss prevention. Even though adopting an RTLS is a valuable tool for commercial industries, many have yet to implement IoT solutions in their day-to-day operations. In particular, the glass manufacturing industry could benefit from a more automated approach to managing daily processes.
Glass manufacturing companies traditionally have had antiquated systems in place – either barcode scanners or passive RFID to track manufacturing assets. According to research by McKinsey, most glass company managers and directors know very little about IoT technology and the potential benefits it can provide. Nevertheless, IoT technology, particularly asset tracking, can help with a glass company’s day-to-day operations in various ways.
Work In Process (WIP) for Glass Manufacturing
Glass manufacturing processes can be tedious. The stages surrounding the collection of materials and annealing glass takes a lot of manpower. Adopting a solution to track and monitor the development of Work In Process (WIP) materials during these stages provides a huge benefit for glass manufacturing companies that want to apply lean manufacturing. Asset tracking devices can open the door for lean manufacturing in glass companies as they help identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the workplace. This allows departments to visualize where they need to improve in order to meet company goals.
In-Transit GPS Tracking
Once glass is manufactured, it is time to ship it to the next destination. The primary mode of transportation for glass shipments tends to be via truck. However, companies also use trains whenever viable. The ability to monitor these shipments when they leave a facility can be crucial as companies try to make schedule deadlines. Not only that, but tracking these deliveries can ensure customers and the company where a product is located and can better predict future delays in transit. Through Link Labs, glass manufacturing companies have access to various methods of connectivity for tracking goods. Options include cellular, WiFi, AirFinder Network, and GPS tracking. GPS is often an ideal choice as it has the greatest location precision to locate goods in transit.
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Lost Shipping Containers
Loss prevention for returnable glass shipping containers is a critical use case for glass manufacturers. Such companies find benefit in an asset tracking RTLS to more easily locate returnable racks they use for shipping. According to Supply Chain Brain, approximately 50% of large companies within the glass industry use shipping racks that are made of steel. The cost of these racks depends on the types, size, and shape of the glass being shipped and can cost from semi-low to high (over $5,000 each). As one can suspect, these racks would be a huge loss to the company if they get lost during the transportation process. However, this can be a common issue as thousands of racks are being shipped out across the globe. The ability to track shipping racks can boost a glass manufacturer’s bottom line as it increases the prevention of theft and loss. An RTLS helps eliminate opportunity costs from not having enough racks at a plant to ship out orders and increases efficiency by ensuring that the plant can ship out at any time. Link Labs has helped distributors realize more than a 4x return on investment of their asset tracking system by recovering missing shipping racks and we may be able to do the same for you.
Let’s talk about your Glass Manufacturing Use Case
In summary, glass companies benefit greatly from using IoT-based technology for asset tracking. The ability to track Work In Process (WIP) materials, shipments, and returnable assets is just a glimpse of what IoT technology can do. Not only does it help eliminate errors commonly associated with current manual practices (ie. Employees forgetting to scan an item), but it can help overall improve future operations for glass companies and improve the bottom line. If you are interested in learning more about our study concerning the glass manufacturing industry and asset tracking, check out this free white paper.