Auto Industry Gets New Tool for Managing Assets Wirelessly

Last week, hidden among the bad news emanating from the American auto industry, a ray of hope emerged. WhereNet Corporation announced a first-of-its-kind program offering suppliers a low-risk method for evaluating the company’s active RFID-based Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) technology applications specifically tailored for the automotive industry.

Leading industry analysts agree that automotive manufacturers need to fundamentally change their business processes by embracing RFID and improving asset management. WhereNet is the leader of wireless solution for tracking and managing enterprise assets. Their solutions are recognized as the de facto standard for the OEM community and deployed globally by major automotive manufacturers such as BMW, Ford and General Motors. The new “Quick-Start” programs, including its Wireless Part Replenishment System and Scrap Tracking & Management System, provide tier-one automotive manufacturers with low-cost, flexible systems supporting lean manufacturing initiatives. The Quick-Start offerings are designed to be deployed in less than two weeks.


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“WhereNet’s quick-start program is a logical extension of its industry-leading applications to enable tier one automotive suppliers to reap the same cost-saving benefits the OEM’s have realized for years,” Lee Grubb, former chief financial officer for Detroit Diesel said. “Given today’s tough economic climate in the automotive industry, manufacturers need to get creative and find new ways to get ‘lean and mean.’ WhereNet’s proven active RFID-based solutions have raised the bar for the industry to embrace more lean, flexible, manufacturing processes to quickly adapt to changing market demands.”

Quick Start Wireless Part Replenishment System for Lean Material Management

The WhereNet Wireless Part Replenishment Systems helps manufacturing plants improve lean material flow with line-side or work cell wireless push-button triggering system that communicates real-time, consumption-based demand from the factory floor to the supporting material handling functions in the plant. The system’s benefits include:

  • Increased visibility of plant floor demand.
  • Reduction in plant floor inventory, carrying cost, and floor space
  • Improved labor productivity

Quick Start Scrap Tracking & Management System

The WhereNet Scrap Tracking & Management System (STMS) assists manufacturing facilities in streamlining the non-conforming materials (NCM) processes. STMS’ configurable NCM process flow supports scrap and vendor-reject processes as well as rework processes. STMS benefits include:

  • Reduction in scrap and material loss
  • Improved labor productivity and visibility to non-conforming materials
    More accurate documentation of scrap and vendor-rejected material 9to support accounting processes and compliance initiatives including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002)

Prices for basic WhereNet systems begin at approximately $10,000, however, prices are based on the customer’s configuration requirements and the size of the installation. A complete return on investment can be anticipated within six to twelve months. More information is available online at wherenet.com

“We have listened to the market and developed the first-of-its-kind ‘Quick-Start’ program to help the automotive supplier community quickly cut costs by enabling leaner processes,” Gary Latham, director of industry marketing for WhereNet’s automotive division said. “With these easily deployed, low-cost, no risk offerings, we expect the tier one community to quickly adopt our technology further building out our automotive ecosystem upstream to suppliers.”

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