A major player in the tire industry has worked with Computype for many years. With Computype serving multiple plants around the world, our relationship with this company is one of the strongest throughout our history. As a result of one of their locations getting a massive upgrade, additional capacity was needed. With the rapid expansion, one European plant in particular was experiencing issues related to inventory including loss of product, misplacement of materials, and overall disassociation of tires.
With the disclosure of their multi-million-dollar plan to expand a factory, there was a complete need to restructure this customer’s inventory. The facility needed a way to sort tires by the same correlation due to this expansion. Prior to the expansion they were primarily producing medium truck tires, but with the additional building and space, they began development of premium passenger tires.
Allocation of inventory became an issue with the expansion, in addition to keeping track of the tires (from standard truck to car tires). They turned to their Computype partnership in need of a better tracking tool, in order to search for specific tires and keep track of inventory within the new warehouses. Fairly quickly, it became apparent that a label or RFID product on its own wasn’t going to solve their problems or reach their goals, but rather what they needed was a comprehensive solution that would help redefine a process.
RFID hybrid labels were quickly determined to be the method by which tires would be tracked and accounted for but unlike many other RFID applications, that was the seemingly easy part of this project. While we did end up developing an RFID tag that included a custom antenna, the ‘how’ surrounding the usage of the tags themselves was where we were really able to add value.
Since RFID was decided upon in order to work with the movement of tires around the warehouse, an infrastructure integration plan was critical in order to fully optimize the RFID technology.
Once we fully understood the concept this plant was aiming to achieve with implementation of RFID, we got to work researching other companies and suppliers who could assist in composing a full RFID infrastructure. A few of the components to the overall vision included system integration, automation, printers, scan bridges, retro-fitting of forklifts, and RFID consumables themselves.
While Computype wasn’t able to provide all of the components ourselves, the value in sourcing & vetting the partners whilst simultaneously managing the project as a whole is where our true value was realized. Had this company sourced each element of the project individually, they would have quickly incurred significant expense related to both time and resources. In our managing of the entire process and project, we were able to provide a single point of contact in addition to a much lower ongoing cost of total ownership.
To date, proof of concept has been developed and approved; the project is well under-way.