Crafting efficiency: why should you embrace WIP tracking.

WIP tracking: understanding the power of WIP visibility to maximize efficiency and minimize waste in manufacturing workflows

WIP tracking: understanding the power of WIP visibility to maximize efficiency and minimize waste in manufacturing workflows
Elly Schietse
Apr 13, 2023

WIP, Work-in-Progress, or Work-in-Process refers to all assets at any phase or location in the production process. They are anywhere in between the state of raw material and finished good. WIP is an essential concept in manufacturing, the more visibility on WIP, the smoother the production process, especially when the process is long and complex. But gaining visibility on the production process and the WIP levels can be tough. By means of indoor tracking, it is possible to alleviate many of the challenges that come with managing WIP.

Crafting efficiency: why should you embrace WIP tracking

Effectively managing WIP is critical for manufacturers who want to ensure that their products are produced efficiently and cost-effectively. WIP buffers should be defined and kept track of. High levels of WIP can lead to increased storage costs, longer production times, and a higher risk of production errors. On the other hand, low levels of WIP can lead to production delays, equipment downtime, and potential lost sales.

Manufacturers must manage their WIP levels carefully to strike a balance between production efficiency and product quality. Various frameworks exist to manage WIP levels. One of them is the Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory system. JIT is a system where materials and products are delivered to the production process just in time to be used, reducing the amount of inventory held in the production process.

WIP management in lean manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency. It involves identifying and eliminating non-value-added activities in the production process. By implementing lean manufacturing principles, manufacturers can reduce WIP, minimize production delays, and increase productivity. The Pozyx WIP solution is ideal for make-to-order and discrete manufacturing environments.

Clearing the fog: the importance of visibility in WIP management for manufacturing success

Pozyx’s system provides full real-time visibility of the movement of goods throughout the manufacturing process. This provides the tools to manage WIP levels and improve efficiency.

Pozyx allows to identify bottlenecks in the manufacturing flow with real-time WIP dashboards. Know exactly where and when the production line slows down or comes to a halt. This allows companies to act even before the WIP buffers would overflow.

Having a transparent overview of the entire manufacturing process is benevolent for the productivity in the facility. It allows to reallocate labor force to the stations where it is needed the most. And taking it a step further by setting set up automatic trigger notifications in the Poyzx Platform to configure automated alerts to keep track of your assets. When the triggers are set up, the system sends notifications when certain conditions are met. This could be a WIP buffer overflowing, a faulty product leaving the QA quarantine, a product that stays at a station for too long, and so on. By setting up automatic notifications, the on the site managers have to spend less time monitoring, which leaves more time for more value-adding tasks.

How does Pozyx bring visibility to the production process

We now understand why it is important to track WIP and that Pozyx offers a way to do it. But how does it actually work? The Pozyx Platform has two key components that make production visibility possible, the Manufacturing Visibility Board and the Manufacturing Analytics.

The Manufacturing Visibility Board monitors and controls the production process. This is achieved by using an indoor location tracking system to track all material, transport carts and operators. This offers real-time visibility of all products in the process and their expected lead time. The solution also gives the production manager real-time status updates on the workstations, buffers, and operators. And lastly, it is possible to set up alerts and notifications so the manager is instantly informed when for example buffers are exceeded.

The visibility board reduces the delay in detecting production flow abnormalities and reduces the time the production manager has to spend on the shop floor to monitor the progress.

The Manufacturing Analytics provide structured data and reports that the production manager needs for production flow management, process analysis and improvements, and cost control. The analytical data gives a clear overview of the average processing time, the waiting time in buffer and workstation, cycle time, and work time. In short, the production manager gets complete transparency on the different parts of the manufacturing process. This allows them to improve labor efficiency, reduce excess WIP in buffers, and improve cost calculation with a better estimation of work time per product.

Real-time visibility on WIP is not only beneficial to the manufacturing process, but it will also positively impact other departments like project management, planning, sales, logistics, and top management by providing better insights. Furthermore, Pozyx’s open APIs make it easy to connect to the ERP, improving efficiency even more.

Benefits of Pozyx’s WIP dashboards

Keeping track of WIP is crucial to keep full production control and to stay ahead of competition, but constant monitoring requires a lot of time from production managers. The WIP dashboards make it possible to monitor and manage the manufacturing process remotely thanks to the real-time data flow and clear insights. These insights into the location of products and operators on the shop floor can impact the production process directly. It allows operators to reduce the gaps between workstations or buffers and can positively affect the production lead time by reducing wasted work time.

Read how we provided total production visibility at our customer Salco.

Interested in optimizing your production and WIP? Schedule a quick call with one of our experts.

Elly Schietse

Written by

Elly Schietse

Elly Schietse

CMO at Pozyx

Experienced director with a demonstrated history of working with global technology companies, in IoT, IT, semiconductor and high-tech industry. Long track record in Management, Marketing, Quality (ISO 9001 & ISO 14001) & ISMS (ISO 27001).