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Why Heavy Duty Machinery Manufacturers Need an RFID Solution

RFID is like a quiet helper, making sure every part in the production line goes where it needs to be.Sean Lowry, President, Lowry Solutions

 

Heavy equipment manufacturers have a big responsibility. It’s your job to make sure that every piece of equipment you produce makes it to the market on time and without flaws. Machinery tracking is critical to this process, everything needs to be onsite and in working order for you to do your job.

Doing this right is just as important as doing it at all. Mismanaged machinery tracking is at best an unnecessary time waster and at worst a safety hazard. Unexpected or mishandled contact with machinery is the 4th leading cause of nonfatal injuries on job sites . Better training is part of this picture, but many of these injuries could have also been prevented by better organization.

The question then becomes, what can heavy duty machinery manufacturers do to keep better track of equipment locations ? One of the best options is RFID technology.

What Makes RFID The Right Solution?

RFID tags are small, robust, and can be attached to thin and small products. So, you can use them for every piece of equipment you manufacture or use in the process. This lets you swiftly find tiny parts that are critical to a larger machine.

Additionally, traditional labeling systems can become difficult to read when covered in dirt or oil. As most manufacturers know, equipment quickly gets covered in both. This is not a problem with RFID tags. Readers can still scan them through the muck.

7 Ways Heavy Duty Machinery Manufacturers Can Use RFID

1. Machinery Tracking

Placing RFID tags on every piece of machinery you use gives you real-time tabs on its whereabouts. This is especially useful in large plants where machinery is frequently moved around across a large space. Having this insight improves safety, accelerates productivity, and prevents stolen equipment .

2. Inventory Management

Instead of manual checks, manufacturers can simply scan the RFID tags from a distance to get an accurate count of their inventory. This can drastically reduce the time spent on inventory management while also minimizing human errors.

3. Asset Tracking

Machinery isn’t the only thing you can track with RFID. You can use it to keep tabs on anything. Whether that be needed tools, specialty packaging, or material handling equipment, RFID can be used to monitor it all. This leads to better resource allocation, increased asset utilization, and improved operational efficiency.

 

What Else Should Heavy Duty Machinery Manufacturers Know About RFID?

 

4. Work-in-Process Visibility

RFID can be used to track manufacturing progress from raw materials to finished products. This can help you identify bottlenecks and ensure quality control. Additionally, it can provide valuable insights on how you can optimize the process.

5. Proactive Maintenance

RFID technology can alert you to when any equipment is in need of repair (or soon will be). As a result, you’ll experience fewer productivity-killing breakdowns and improve the safety and usability of your equipment.

6. Fleet Tracking

Your RFID solution doesn’t have to be limited to your plant. RFID is also an incredibly useful tool for fleet management. With real-time data about the location and status of each vehicle, you can enjoy efficient route planning, fuel management, and scheduling.

 

See What RFID Can Do For Vehicles 

 

7. Supply Chain Visibility

Tagged machinery and materials are easy to spot in the supply chain. You can better predict when deliverables will reach their destination and when needed supplies will arrive. This knowledge can help you better plan your production schedule and improve customer service.

How to Implement RFID for Heavy Duty Machinery Manufacturers

1. Planning

Although we highlighted 7 ways you can use RFID, you may not want to use it for all of them. Pinpoint exactly why you need an RFID solution and move forward with your objectives in mind.

Once your goals are clear, conduct a thorough assessment of the current processes and systems in place. This could involve mapping out the movement of machinery and other assets, understanding inefficiencies, and estimating the potential ROI of an RFID system.

2. Choosing the Right Solution

After everything is all laid out, you can use your plan to strategically choose the right RFID consulting solution. RFID specialists can also help you stay on the right track.

3. RFID Implementation

RFID implementation is essentially the process of attaching your tags and configuring your software and RFID readers. During this phase, continually test your system to ensure it’s working as expected. This could involve tracking a few assets to start with, and gradually scaling up as the system proves its reliability and accuracy.

4. Training

Finally, it’s essential to train the relevant personnel on how to use the RFID system. Make sure they know how to scan the RFID tags, interpret the data provided by the RFID software, and  troubleshoot common issues.

 

Ready to Bring RFID Equipment Tracking to Your Company?

 

Do Machinery Tracking Right With An Experienced RFID Partner

RFID is one of your best solutions, but the next step is finding an RFID provider who’s up for the job. As a machinery manufacturer, you need RFID that can meet all your unique needs without adding a list of additional costs.

Lowry Solutions can be that provider. We’ve been delivering comprehensive RFI solutions across the United States for over 20 years. Manufacturing is one of our specialties, so we’re more than capable of addressing your needs.

Contact Lowry Solutions to discover the right RFID system for your company and to request a quote.