AeroScout Inc., provider of Unified Asset Visibility for improving operational efficiency, together with IMEC Technologies, has deployed a wireless parts replenishment system for Thermo King Corporation. Using the Wi-Fi Active RFID system, Thermo King is driving lean manufacturing and operational improvements in its manufacturing facility in Galway, Ireland.

Thermo King has implemented a Wi-Fi parts replenishment system — also known as an e-Kanban system — and integrated it into its internal manufacturing applications. The AeroScout system uses standard Wi-Fi and leverages Thermo King's existing Cisco Unified Wireless Network, which the staff also uses for data communications with laptops and handheld mobile computers.

When additional parts are needed on the production line, workers at the facility use call buttons on AeroScout's Wi-Fi tags mounted next to parts containers throughout the facility. When the quantity in a container reaches a pre-determined level, workers press the corresponding call button to request more parts. Battery-powered tags transmit the request over the facility's standard Wi-Fi network to AeroScout's MobileView software. These requests are then processed by IMEC's parts replenishment application, which initiates the appropriate materials replenishment steps.

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