Industry

NGK Ceramics: lessons learned and retrospective after 4+ years of tracking assets

NGK Ceramics, a US manufacturer of ceramic components for the automotive industry, has been using ThinkIN® location intelligence solution for years now, locating and tracking assets, to reduce production delays and speed up inventory procedures. In the meanwhile, the solution has expanded from the initial service to more complex functionalities

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In summary
  • Savings of 80 labour hours / week
  • Savings of USD 152,000 / year
  • More use cases covered and some interesting considerations
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NGK Ceramics is a global leader in the manufacturing of ceramic substrates used in catalytic converter applications for automotive, truck and off-road vehicles. The US manufacturing facility, located in Mooresville in North Carolina, covers more than 50.000 square meters and it is running 365 days a year, 24hours a day. 

NGK Ceramics was facing some inefficiencies in the production process, such as the difficulty for workers of finding pallets throughout the very large shop floor, causing waste of labour resources and delays in production, and the difficulty of keeping an up-to-date inventory. To overcome these issues, they decided to implement an asset tracking solution based on RTLS technology: ThinkIN® location intelligence solution.

ThinkIN® solution has achieved the expected ROI, saving an average of 80 labour hours per week (previously used to search for lost pallets) and avoiding inventory shrinkage, with a total annual monetary savings of 152.000 USD.

ThinkIN® solution has been fully operational at NGK Ceramics for 4+ years now, expanding from the initial service specification to more complex functionalities, and providing increasing support to workers in their daily operations.

 

Some of the key takeaway messages of this case study are:

  • One technology serves them all: one technology for many different use cases targeting different assets, tasks and functions inside the production plant; 
  • From top-down to bottom-up: starting from a top-down approach, ThinkIN location intelligence solution is now driven inside the facility with a bottom-up method: workers use ThinkIN solution on a daily basis and are actively involved in goals and feedback to improve the system and operational efficiency; 
  • …