Industry and application case studies highlight some of our best work:
RFID for Employee Safety
Leading Healthcare Company Pilots RFID Solution to Improve Employee Safety
The Problem: Newly-built, high-tech corporate center desired cutting-edge tracking system for employee safety.
The Solution: Pilot project implemented and tested a fully-automated RFID solution to manage emergency egress protocols, with potential to roll out to entire campus and facilities nationwide.
The Results: Initial 95% success rate and ongoing improvements with employee training and behavioral changes being implemented.
DC Packing/Sorting Automation
Book Publisher Automates DC to Accelerate Shipping, Improve Accuracy
The Problem: High-volume book publisher experiencing high growth, increasing demand and a rotating, diminishing workforce, needed to automate their manual operation to reduce reliance on labor, increase speed and earn substantial shipping discounts.
The Solution: Expansive solution implemented using intelligent industrial automation software to connect numerous input/output points, process sub-second transactions, scan, divert, verify, sort, package, seal, label, weigh, re-verify and direct for shipping without human intervention. Installed concurrently with elaborate, multi-level conveyance system, the solution provided a fully-automated packing, sorting and manifesting system.
The Results: Process automation software allowed client to eliminate 12 positions and repurpose workers to other high-demand areas. Automated sortation allowed for package grouping based on destination, postal or carrier, resulting in shipping discounts from major carrier. Connecting data from shipping and accounting systems improved customer service levels by allowing immediate tracking and status information.
Product & Shipping Verification
Automotive Supplier Eliminates Heavy OEM Fines and Improves Product Verification
The Problem: OEM manufacturer using manual processes was receiving heavy, daily fines from General Motors due to incorrectly-shipped products. A solution was needed to eliminate manual procedures and implement an automated check- and verification-system to only ship products that passed inspection to the correct location.
The Solution: Solution implemented using intelligent industrial automation software to eliminate human decision-making from QC verification and shipping processes. QC test results communicated to servers via various control signals enabled correct product packing and labeling. Software tracked correct individual quantities to build cases, then pallets, and label each accordingly and accurately. Shipping validation with mobile devices further controlled and validated shipment to ensure matching product with correct destinations.
The Results: Process automation software installed on 20 production lines allowed client to ensure all parts were labeled and shipped correctly. Accurate shipping to the correct manufacturers enabled full OEM compliance and eliminated the daily fines.
Mobilizing Oracle Transactions
Industrial Electric & Controls System Manufacturer Automates Warehouse and Mobilizes Oracle Data
The Problem: Small, manual warehouse expecting to double capacity and quadruple operations needed to automate processes and remove manual data entry practices. Mobile workers had no real-time access to core business data from Oracle E-Business Suite, and faced bottlenecks in processing transactions each month when Oracle was offline for accounting purposes. Oracle’s native warehouse management system (WMS) and mobile supply chain application (MSCA) were ruled out due to extensive modifications needed, long installation times and prohibitively high costs.
The Solution: A highly-flexible, mobile interface with Oracle EBS was implemented using pre-built transaction sets for rapid implementation at substantially lower cost. All client requirements were met without extensive custom code modifications, and high-availability functionality allowed transactions to run when Oracle was offline.
The Results: The mobile integration to Oracle EBS met all client functionality requirements and was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, resulting in significant productivity improvements. With a 75% reduction in receiving and put-away times and other dramatic ROI, TMEIC was able to increase warehouse volume and transactions without additional personnel.
Automated Verification System
Consumer Food Packaging Company Eliminates Threat of Mixed-Case Liability with Automated Verification System
The Problem: Leading producer of corrugated and consumer packaging was experiencing mixed-case errors for food grade packaging shipping to one of their largest customers. Their customer, a major consumer food manufacturer, was facing the potential for serious liability issues and a recall of products due to package mislabeling. Even though there was an existing Work-In-Process (WIP) system, and a variety of manual processes put in place to resolve the mixed case problem. With numerous errors and potential liability at stake, changes were required to ensure mixed-case pallet errors would be eliminated.
The Solution: In order to provide the best solution possible for the mixed-case problem, additional improvements to their current WIP system were recommended. The solution known as Automation IQTM or AIQ, would provide real-time information about which case, which line, which operator and which raw materials went into a production run, along with where it was packaged, and where it shipped.
The Results: All production visibility problems were eliminated and plant managers and supervisors could have immediate access to production information from all lines with improved accuracy, efficiency and quality control while maintaining production levels and achieving 100% accuracy in its consumer food packaging shipments.
Steel Pipe Manufacturer Replaces Aging Wireless Network Across 2,000 Acre Facility
The Problem: Manufacturer of iron pipe and fire hydrants on a 2000-acre campus with over 100 buildings had an aging and obsolete WLAN infrastructure. Multiple dead spots and connectivity hindrances were impacting mobile worker productivity.
The Solution: Extensive site survey of the expansive facility including the warehouse, indoor office space, covered and exposed outdoor spaces, and the plant processing molten steel was necessary. Installed Zebra Technologies (now
Zebra Technologies) wireless network equipment, network controllers and AirDefense Services Platform to provide comprehensive facility coverage, network security, compliance, assurance and infrastructure management on the large campus.
The Results: With over 80% of the entire project deployed during a three-year rollout, overall productivity and efficiency of mobile users increased substantially due to the absence of network failures when on the new Zebra Technologies (Zebra Technologies) network.
Mobile Process Automation
Public Utility Tracks Light Pole Installation to Reduce Delays and Improve Billing
The Problem: Public utility company needed to track high value assets from property storage yard for installation by the utility’s contractors. Contractors were taking up to 120+ days to submit handwritten paperwork, causing erros and extremely delayed billing and unhappy customers. The utility needed to automate the manual paperwor and track the asset installation location, status and completion date.
The Solution: An integrated solution using custom software and mobile computers captured asset information at the time and place of installation, along with job completion data, and connected with the utility’s asset tracking and backend software for complete job visibility. Contractors scanning weather-resistant barcode labels during installation captured GPS coordinates and date/time stamps for each job. All field notes were entered electronically and uploaded to the backend software.
The Results: Billing time was drastically reduced from 120+ days to 7-10 days and all manual forms were automated with the mobile application to eliminate data entry mistakes and billing errors. The utility gained dramatic increases in the quality and frequency of data generated by the installation contractors.
Warehouse Management System
3PL Improves Inventory & Shipping Accuracy with Warehouse Management System
The Problem: 3PL with 195,000 square feet of storage capacity spread over four buildings needed to meet a mandate from their primary customer to automate and meet FIFO requirements to handle additional business volume. With unacceptable levels of mis-shipments and lost or mis-placed inventory, they needed not only to automate their manual warehousing and inventory shipping functions but also to upgrade their existing data cabling infrastructure.
The Solution: A turnkey solution which included warehousing software, mobile computing and wireless networking hardware, rack and product labeling to enable accurate scanning of 4-tier warehouse shelving by ground operators, system integration, as well as training and support.
Results: A fully automated inventory process with immediate visibility from receipt to final shipping allowing them to accommodate increased business volume from their primary customer.
Commercial Field Service
HVAC Filter Manufacturer Sees Immediate and Long-Term ROI with Nationwide Field Service Solution
The Problem: Manual scheduling of 152 mobile service technicians and weekly shipments of paper work orders caused inaccuracies and severe billing delays, customer frustration and enormous weekly shipping costs. Lack of rugged mobile devices and no unified corporate voice and data plans caused poor or no communication with field workers, erratic scheduling and disorganized routes.
The Solution: Comprehensive solution implemented to automate field service processes, eradicate manual paperwork, reduce or eliminate weekly shipping charges and integrate voice and data plans. All field workers were placed on the same network with immediate access to essential corporate data. Centralized device management allowed corporate IT to manage, control and troubleshoot all devices in the field from headquarters location.
The Results: Immediate reduction of weekly shipping charges led to over $600,000 in annual savings alone, along with dramatic billing improvements and fleet fuel savings of over 22,000 gallons annually.
Ski Resort Safety & Services
Top-Rated Ski Resort Improves Safety and Services to Guests, Improves Billing Accuracy
The Problem: Busy Ski Camp needed accurate way to track and locate over 1,000 children participating in various camp activities across a 1,000-acre campus, plus improve billing timeliness and accuracy, all within a 30-day window.
The Solution: Mobile solution deployed to work in the harsh outdoor environment of a Vermont winter. Instructors to scan and associate children with various classes, then synch to accounting system for accurate and immediate billing.
The Results: Significant improvements in billing accuracy and timeliness, and invaluable tracking capabilities for children participating in camps gives resort a competitive edge.
Food Packaging Efficiency
Leading Snack Manufacturer Improves Packaging Efficiency and Cuts Costs with On-Demand Carton Labeling
The Problem: Hand labeling of case cartons with preprinted labels was expensive, time-consuming and inefficent. Hand-stamped variable data resulted in illegible or misaligned, inconsistent text.
The Solution: Take control of carton labeling on eight production lines to increase worker productivity and eliminate numerous issues associated with preprinted labels and incorporate SAP-generated, variable data.
The Results: Integrated production line with rugged, performance-line printers captured host data, reduced inventory costs, decreased man-hours and increased line-worker efficiency.
Transportation Inventory & Warehousing
Transportation Company Improves Inventory, Put-Away and Shipping Efficiency with Mobile Printing
The Problem: Inefficient centralized printing station for hundreds of inbound pallets into logistics warehouse caused inefficient workers, mis-labeled pallets, mis-shipments or lost items.
The Solution: Streamline receipt of products, pallet labeling and product put-away throughout 450,000 square foot facility with mobile printing solution for point-of-receipt labeling.
The Results: Complete mobile printing solution increased operator efficiencies, improved material handling times, decreased rerouting problems and virtually eliminated mis-labeled pallets.
Charity Automates Annual Christmas Gift Program
Inovity Donates Time, Equipment & Custom Application to Salvation Army Christmas Toy Program
The Problem: Manual identification, tracking and distribution of all toys and food certificates for gift bags caused extensive delays, numerous interruptions and obstructions in the Christmas distribution program.
The Solution: Label all gift bags as assembled with barcodes and complete cycle count of all bags prior to distribution day. Establish automated check-out system to track bags as given to proper recipients.
The Results: Inovity donated time, equipment and a custom tracking application to streamline the Christmas Distribution Program. Automated procedures resulted in smooth, efficient and organized distribution that ran ahead of schedule.
Airline Parts Distribution
Airline Parts Distributor Improves Inventory Efficiency with Data Automation
The Problem: Manual inventory handling with no scanning system caused shipping and receiving inaccuracies, lengthy put-away times, inventory discrepancies and labor increases.
The Solution: Wireless LAN configuration and installation for real-time connectivity to UNIX inventory system, mobile computers and shelf- and floor-marking location labels for accurate inventory picking and put-away.
The Results: Comprehensive wireless data collection system returned significant improvements in inventory accuracy and reconciliation, reductions in labor costs and elimination of emergency product replacement shipments.
Automotive Compliance Labeling Solution
GM 1724 Compliance Labeling Solution
The Problem: OEM automotive supplier required to meet GM compliance labeling standards in seven US manufacturing facilities. Involved replacing obsolete printing systems to accommodate 2-D barcode technology and establishing failsafe redundancies to allow label generation during network or host outages.
The Solution: Integrate multiple label printing stations at 7 manufacturing facilities with a central AS-400 network, create data distribution program on NT server to filter data to appropriate facilities and feed labeling system, and generate compliant GM1724 labels, printable during server outages.
The Results: All required facilities met the GM-mandated deadlines and can print compliant GM1724 and/or other standardized label formats easily and automatically. Resources throughout manufacturing facilites are maximized with failsafe systems to allow uninterrupted business flow, even during system downtime.
International Data Collection Solution
Textile Manufacturer Sees Efficiency Gains with Worldwide Data Collection System
The Problem: Existing proprietary system was cumbersome and obsolete. Could not handle more than one warehouse function at a time, could not produce shipping manifests, was not bilingual. Older handheld terminals subject to frequent malfunction and break downs.
The Solution: Bilingual data collection system for finished goods put-away, raw material receiving, shipping and inventory, with full reporting, to run all warehouse functions simultaneously.
The Results: Open-source solution replaced and expanded existing inventory management systems at pilot facilities, dramatically increasing warehouse productivity and labor efficiency. Complete training of Coats IT staff for system-wide roll-out at all 22 facilities worldwide.
Industrial Print & Apply
Textile Manufacturer Improves Scan/Print System with Automated Print & Apply
The Problem: Unreliable printers, breakdowns, hand labeling and print quality issues caused conveyor-line backups, manual intervention and false reads by fixed-position scanners, resulting in decreased productivity in manufacturing facility running 3 daily shifts, 7 days per week.
The Solution: Replaced aging and obsolete printers and homegrown applicator systems with automated print-and-apply labelers integrated into conveyor lines. PLCs (Primary Logic Controllers) would stop the lines for accurate placement of labels in the required, small-tolerance space, then signal to start the lines again.
The Results: Immediate and improved productivity results were realized after new solution was in place. Scanning errors and printer downtime/maintenance were virtually eliminated, as was manual intervention on the conveyor lines.
Automotive Oil Filter Manufacturer Experiences Significant Improvement in Finished-Goods
The Problem: Outdated software, frequent system lock-ups, disconnected work stations and difficulty in locating label formats caused this leading filter manufacturer extensive down time, slow production lines and inability to connect to new ERP system. Multiple vendors were pointing fingers at others for the causes of the problems and weren’t supplying solutions.
The Solution: As a single-vendor resource for the entire project, Inovity provided all components of a demanding new system, including multi-platform integration that was stable, fully-redundant and fault tolerant; a database-driven system with re-directional output, job queuing capabilities, data validation and input restriction; centralized administration of database and label formats; verification of multiple symbologies; and overall improvements of system performance.
The Results: Significant and measurable improvements with a stable, intuitive, easy-to-use solution that surpassed production requirements by 300%, and has been installed in seven of the company’s manufacturing facilities throughout the country.