Lincolnshire, Ill., September 23, 2013 - Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a global leader in products and services that provide real-time visibility into organisations' assets, people and transactions, today at the Automotive Manufacturing Solutions (AMS) conference in Detroit, announced the release of Rack & Container management solution. The solution is a manufacturing execution system (MES) designed for automotive manufacturers to efficiently track the location, status, condition and history of each reusable rack and container within the automotive supply chain.
According to the Joint Automotive Industry Forum (JAIF), the automotive industry spends millions of dollars addressing problems associated with lost and damaged racks and containers, which are re-used across the automotive supply chain to critical transport parts and assemblies. In 2010, JAIF found these costs associated with rack and container issues to be so significant that the organisation issued international radio frequency identification (RFID) guidelines to help the automotive supply chain better leverage technology to enhance container visibility.
Developed for the automotive manufacturing environment, Zebra's newly released Rack & Container management solution helps to simplify the complexity of the automotive supply chain by leveraging not only RFID, but a combination of RFID, real time locating systems (RTLS) technologies and visibility software to give manufacturers unprecedented access to precise information on the location and condition of the racks and containers flowing through their operations.
"This new offering further demonstrates the growing demand for real-time visibility to improve efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing environment," said Jill Stelfox, vice president and general manager of Location Solutions, Zebra Technologies. "Rack and container management continues to be an ongoing operational challenge for businesses, especially in the automotive industry. Zebra's solution delivers efficient and real-time visibility to address this need."
Built on Zebra's Material Flow suite, Zebra's Rack & Container management solution is the only industry specific rack and container solution available on the market today that leverages RTLS technology. The implementation of RTLS and the benefits it delivers continues to grow in the automotive and industrial manufacturing industries. Zebra's solution is designed to solve the core problems facing automotive manufacturers, including:
• Inability to find exact location of rack and container fleets
• Inaccurate count of empty versus full containers
• Severe rack damage requiring costly, time-consuming maintenance and repair
• Lack of tracking receipt of new rack fleets
The auto-identification technology behind Zebra's Rack & Container tracking solution allows for real-time location reports, mapping of racks and configurable alerts when racks go into incorrect areas of the supply chain trail. Reports can be created to give schedulers a real-time count of empty, usable or significantly damaged racks on site, creating greater workforce efficiency by alleviating the need for time consuming physical counts by plant employees. With the use of active or passive RFID tags, shipments can be tracked and queried to confirm when racks were received on site, their current location and condition, allowing accurate audits of large and in-service orders.
"Zebra's Rack and Container solution is very unique in its ability to offer not just location information but motion information that allows it to capture real time status and conditions of the racks and containers," said Nandini Bhattacharya, senior research analyst from Frost & Sullivan. "Understanding the inventory count and condition of rack and container assets in the automotive industry has always been a challenge that this solution goes a long way in solving."
For more information about Zebra's RTLS solutions, please visit www.zebra.com/ls.
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