Inventory Tracking Using Kepware’s IoT Gateway

As industrial connectivity continues to advance, there are increasingly more opportunities to make manufacturers safer, more productive, and more cost competitive.

PREMIER recently completed an inventory tracking web application for a major automotive company that leveraged IoT technology to eliminate labor costs, safety risks, and provide accurate, real-time work in process (WIP) inventory data.

The Problem

  • WIP inventory data is needed for operations planning and performance management.

  • A major automotive manufacturer was using a manual data collection process that required operators to perform physical counts.

  • At times, the physical count process required an operator to enter a machine area that required a safety LOTO to be performed.

  • Data collection was taking 4 hours per day at a cost of $20K per year in labor.

  • Because inventory was counted manually, real-time data was not available.

  • The data collected was stored in an Excel spreadsheet which was not easily accessible to all team members.

  • Occasional human error caused data quality concerns.

The Solution

PREMIER created an automated inventory tracking web application that enables team members to view real-time inventory reports from any browser on any device. Under the hood of this website is Kepware’s IoT Gateway advanced plug-in for KEPServerEX®, whose built-in REST server delivers Rockwell Automation PLC tag values over HTTP. This data is assembled on the website into custom reports that can be grouped, filtered, pivoted, and even exported to Excel. As a result, the safety risks, data quality issues, and labor hours associated with manual physical counts have been eliminated.

These successes were achieved through expertise and knowledge of material tracking, Rockwell Automation PLCs, control panel design and manufacturing capability, OPC, Kepware IoT Gateway, MES data collection / analytics, and HTML5 web application development.

PREMIER System Integrators™ delivers tiered automotive manufacturing companies with a variety of solutions including panel fabrication, industrial controls integration, MES, cyber security, and process control networking.

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