Finding the tools for the next work order (Case Study)

Background

A Fortune 500 automotive supplier, located at Gödöllő, Hungary manufactures cable harnesses used in cars. An important step of this process it to cut the cables into the specified lengths and put the appropriate connectors on them. At Gödöllő there are approx 40 cutting machines which can be equipped with one of the 500 cutting tools to produce the required type of cables.

Problem

As mass customization is taking place in the automobile industry, the company faces just in time (JIT) orders in small batches and lots of different cable harness configurations. This results in frequent replacement of the cutting tools. These tools are stored on shelves next to the cutting machines, thus creating a distributed storage of the 500 tools along the shopfloor. Finding the right tool for the next work order is a time consuming process. During the search machine is halted, and the operator’s time is wasted.

Solution

By deploying Sunstone RTLS to cover more than 10000 m2 of the Gödöllő plant and attaching Sunstone Minitags to every cutting tool, the searching time for a cutting tool is eliminated.
A thin client was set up near the cutting machine area, so if a new tool is required for the next work order the only thing the operator has to do is to type in the serial number of the tool. This queries the Sunstone RTLS backend and the tool’s location is shown on a map of the factory shopfloor with submeter accuracy.