Work in Progress management | Crepak
Work in Progress management

Work in Progress management

How to make it right, timely and traceable

When you're making items composed of many parts, such as airplanes, automobiles, high-tech and consumer electronic devices, machinery, or medical equipment, it's essential—but difficult—to keep track of work in process (WIP). As many components and subsystems are assembled into individual products, discrete manufacturers need to ensure that the right parts make their way from warehouses to bins to assembly lines when they're needed. 

Modern manufacturers always use flex production line to improve capacity and reduce cost, It's also critical that the correct parts are diverted at the right time to the proper locations for painting, subassembly or other work before they can be brought together and incorporated into the final product. Identification of each components is key part of the work in process, that's especially important if the manufacture of parts or subassemblies is outsourced to a supply-chain partner. Any delays or errors in these processes can cause a manufacturer to stop production to sort things out. 

Even the parts delivery are right and on time, once final product has some quality problem, manufacturers need to find the root cause of the quality problem and recall the related products for repair or replace, tracking of each product at each process, made or tested by which machine and which worker is the base of recall, if manufactures haven’t this record, either it costs a lot for the recall action or the manufacturers may face strong complain which will be a fatal below for them, thus, tracking and tracing the work in process become more and more important for manufactures and will increase their competence in the market;

Many discrete manufacturers track WIP manually, using paper-based logs or entering data into computers or handheld devices—all methods that are prone to error, thanks to human fallibility. Even manufacturers that have automated the process using bar-code scanners find that workers often forget to scan some parts or circumvent the system for other reasons. Typically, managers aren't alerted to errors soon enough, so they cause problems down the line. 

Manufacturers that have been using radio frequency identification to automatically track WIP in real time say that improved visibility can decrease mistakes and inefficiencies in operations, as well as lower costs and reduce inventory. 

By utilizing RFID tags and readers, products can be counted in seconds. This is due to the fact that RFID tags can be automatically scanned without being in the line-of-sight of an RFID scanner and multiple tags can be scanned simultaneously. For manufacturers this translates directly into cost reductions as labor intensive tasks can be carried out faster and more accurately.

In addition to faster authentication of produced goods, manufacturers can also benefit from increased information gathered with the help of RFID technology. RFID tags can store far more information than conventional barcode labels. This information can be used to optimize production processes. Accurate knowledge of the real-time movements of raw materials and the time needed for specific production steps can be integrated into efficient production planning.

With the help of RFID, manufacturers can also benefit from increased information in regards to repair and maintenance of their machines and equipment. This allows manufacturers to have visibility into valuable data such as: which machine has been repaired or undergone maintenance and when has this been done? This information helps to plan maintenance schedules. Hence, maintenance can become part of production planning and help to prevent costly production breaks.

RFID in manufacturing processes means:

  • Less manual work
  • Less costs
  • Improved visibility
  • Improved planning


The solution is utilized used by public and private organizations to solve complex WIP track challenges, including the areas of:

  • Automotive or component painting&assembly process tracking
  • Airplane assembly WIP tracking
  • Locomotive assembly WIP tracking
  • Surgical instrument operating & washing & sterilization tracking
  • Drilling pipe operating management
  • Industrial product manufacturing tracking
  • Returnable container tracking


Crepak tag solution for Work in Progress management

Successful story