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February 19, 2009

Thermo King selects Wi-Fi parts replenishment system from AeroScout and IMEC

To drive lean manufacturing and implement operational improvements in its manufacturing facility

By CBR Staff Writer

Thermo King, a manufacturer of transport temperature control systems, has selected a wireless parts replenishment system from AeroScout and IMEC Technologies to improve its manufacturing operations.

Using the Wi-Fi Active RFID system, Thermo King is driving lean manufacturing and operational improvements in its manufacturing facility in Galway, Ireland, said AeroScout.

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.

According to AeroScout, when additional parts are needed on the production line, workers at the facility use call buttons located 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.

The 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. The system requires no hard wires and enables flexible support of production line layout changes, said AeroScout.

Gabi Daniely, vice president of marketing and product strategy at AeroScout, said: Manufacturers are under tremendous pressure to reduce costs and operate more efficiently, and AeroScout’s Unified Asset Visibility solutions are helping many companies accomplish exactly that. Our Wi-Fi-based solutions allow clients to drive lean manufacturing and operational efficiency in a cost-efficient manner, without adding wired or proprietary infrastructure.

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