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How internet of things integration can help the manufacturing assembly line?

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/everything possible)

We have seen many large companies are moving towards automation where the real time data been updated to ERP or central system to make a decision.

  1. Production is in progress.
  2. Quality is done with reasons for failures. If you find the same issues again, stop the production and find the reasons.

Use case of IOT with cloud ERP software

Recently we spoke to a prospect who imports TV LED frames, mother board etc. and then assemble at India. They have a huge brand name in the market and also a distributor network.

The challenges faced by the TV Manufacturer is many including Inventory management, not able to track the accurate Cost of Finished Goods, Distributor order fulfilment etc. One of the problems that’s faced by electronics goods company is the post sales warranty. This is an important factor as it gives assurance to the customer to try and buy the product. Historically, many companies survived due to post-sales service and slowly product quality was improved.

We spent a long time to understand their problem and following are the main issues.

  1. Traceability of items with which items are used in which TV
  2. Provide the warranty post sales and they need to track the Finished Goods Serial number and based on that track the child’s serial no.

They were choosing an ERP with an assumption that ERP could solve all their problem.

Lets define the problem statement

Since each TV assembly is separate, how you are going to track these individual Semi Finished Goods into the parent assembly with different serial numbers?

Because when the materials are issued they are not packed as a group and released to assembly lines. So the assembler can randomly pick any product of any serial number and would assemble them into the Parent product.

As we break down the problem statements, we found the below details.

  • TV manufacturers takes the confirmed orders from customer and based on that production plan is made.
  • Production department request for all the items as per the Bill of Materials list for 100 TV Units for a day against a Work Order.
  • Stores Department will transfer / issue the Raw materials, Semi finished goods with individual serial numbers to Production department.
  • On the conveyer belt, the TV assembly begins in different stages.
  • Stage 1 assembly – Each station has a specific process / activity to be completed and moved to next operation.
  • Stage 2 assembly
  • Stage 3 assembly
  • This is where the challenges begin now.
  • Lets assume that TV FG has a serial no of TV050300001.
  • In this TV assemble, we have put TV Frame (TVF0503100001) and Mother Board (MB050390012) serial no items
  • Assembly is completed
  • Quality tested and is OK to report.
  • When we report in ERP for a single TV Unit, somewhere we need to keep the records of TV Frame and its serial no and Mother Board and its serial no.
  • Traditional ERPs will be forcing the TV Manufacturers to enter the FG one by one as he has to choose the RM / Semo Finished Goods assembly and identify with Serial Number.

It’s a painful process

The process repeats for every TV that’s manufactured. The challenge here is how to record the serial number of different TV assembly.

IOT helps in this case.

We spoke a good friend of ours, who is also a business owner for a factory. He has deployed many IOT units in his factory to report and track the production unit assembly automatically. He has found the success of this and improvement in productivity. However his business case was different.

We spent a long time and the solution that we came is design each station to have an IOT device that captures the details of parts and its serial numbers. These data would be added to the previous records.

  • Each assembly station has predefined activities and the items that would go with that.
  • We would use the Barcode scanner and this is connected to our IOT device.
  • As the assembly worker, scans the LED Frame serial number, this is added into a STRING of DATA Structures.
  • As the assembly worker, scans the LED Frame serial number, this is added into a STRING of DATA Structures.
  • As the assembly worker, scans the LED Frame serial number, this is added into a STRING of DATA Structures.
  • As the assembly worker, scans the LED Frame serial number, this is added into a STRING of DATA Structures.

Advantages of IOT integrating with cloud ERP software

  • Real time stock reporting.
  • Can analyse the real time required for an assembly. Identify the bottlenecks and improve the productivity
  • Helps to stop the assembly line, if the quality issues are more than expected. Managers can monitor the assembly and be informed about the issues.

Let's assume, you have a contract-manufacturing unit at China. Now you are at US and wants to know what is the daily production and should get an alert as the problem appears.

Use IOT with cloud ERP software.

Nityananda Rao, CEO, ACTouch Technologies