Working leaner and smarter doesn’t require an overhaul of your processes, just your approach. When you can step away from “the way we’ve always done it” and identify opportunities for improvement, you’ll improve operational efficiency.
Asset management and control should be one of your lean manufacturing targets. The investment of time and money you’ve placed in accruing those critical assets will deliver a higher return when you establish and maintain a system for monitoring them. When your workers are spending as much time tracking down tools or repairing equipment as actually doing their primary tasks, you’re paying for unnecessary downtime, and potentially shortening the lifecycle of your equipment.
Automated data collection isn’t limited to inventory control. You can automate the maintenance schedules of your equipment. A quick scan with a mobile device shows the maintenance history and connects you with the product manual and schematics. Get alerts on your mobile device of potential equipment problems, so you can troubleshoot more readily.
With a mobile asset management system, your technician can diagnose and then order the necessary tools and parts (including the replacement pool) immediately. When the repair or service is completed, the technician easily records it on a mobile computer, with the information automatically uploaded to your system — giving you an audit trail that helps you better manage the asset from acquisition to decommissioning.
With proactive asset management, you reduce the cost of repairs and replacement, as well as the downtime that is created when your system is reactive, rather than proactive.
What do you need to implement an automated asset management system? If you’re already using barcoding or RFID, you have barcode scanners, readers, and printers. Make sure they’re updated in order to give you the latest functionality — like faster reads and scanning, including those barcodes that have become scratched, smudged, or damaged.
Remember, lean manufacturing requires that you eliminate wasted movement. The more time your technicians spend trying to zoom in on a worn barcode, the more it’s costing you.
A rugged mobile printer, like the Zebra QLn Series, enables your technician to output barcode labels, on demand, for any tools and equipment. This mobile asset management ensures that all of your assets are accurately tagged, and not left for marking later, when the technician returns to the print station.
Lowry Solutions has developed LowryTrack Asset Control System (ACS) that provides an end-to-end system for protecting your critical assets. If you want to increase operational efficiency and reduce operational costs, talk to us today.