The key to monitoring real-time material flow and production status as the powder moved throughout the client’s manufacturing processes, reducing manual, error-prone processes and enabling 100% paperless production was to use Inpixon’s INTRANAV IoT platform, RTLS, and dynamic E-Ink displays.
How the energy company uses Inpixon's RTLS solution in its powder tracking process
Loading a New Batch
Powder handler creates new batches in MES
Within an interval of 30 seconds, the E-ink display is updated with the new batch information (material number, batch number, batch barcode, quantity, batch status, container ID).
Alternative via manual update: The powder plater hits the integration function button on the E-Ink display and thereby triggers the update of the displayed content.
➜ Process assurance: If the RTLS could not find the correct container ID from the system for the batch number (due to incorrect entry), INTRANAV.IO issues an error alert to the administrator.
Transport Request and Transfer
- If the container with the release status is moved to the “Transport Zone”, INTRANAV.IO initiates an e-mail notification.
- The operator could use the report to check the position of the powder containers in the map with different filters (status, material number, container ID, batch number).
➜ Process control: If the container with incorrect status (e.g., Status Not Authorized, Quantity Does Not Correspond to Pre-Set KG, etc.) remains in the transport zone for two minutes, INTRANAV.IO initiates an alert e-mail notification, and the LED flashes red until the container is moved from the defined zones.
- The operator physically transfers the released container from the transfer zone in Building A to the designated area in Building B.
- Location and movements are tracked by INTRANAV.IO.
➜ Process reliability: If the hopper remains in the wrong zone for two minutes, INTRANAV.IO triggers an alert e-mail and a flashing of the E-LED.
- The operator loads hopper powder into the dispenser with machine number and updates MES batch.
- INTRANAV.IO updates the hopper E-Ink display and the dispenser with the new batch (material number, batch number, batch barcode, quantity).
Manual operation: The operator initiates the update of the E-Ink display by pushing the function key to update the E-Ink.
When the print job is finished, the operator posts the corresponding powder quantity by scanning in the MES or manually selects the E-Ink barcode via the MES powder consumption page.
- INTRANAV.IO updates the batch information of the E-Ink every 30 seconds. Alternatively, this can be initiated manually via the function key on the E-Ink display.
- The dispenser is transported into the “Powder Area”.
- The operator loads the remaining powder into the recycling container. The operator then creates a new batch of powder in the MES for recycling.
- INTRANAV.IO updates the E-Ink display of the recycling powder (with status “In Use”).
➜ Process control: When the production hopper is moved in the recycling zone, the RTLS initiates blinking of the E-Ink display for alerts. Reverse for recycling hopper.
- The recycle bin is moved to the “Transfer Zone”.
➜ Process control: INTRANAV.IO initiates an e-mail notification if the hopper remains in the “Transfer Zone” for two minutes.
- Container with status “Recycle” is located in the “Storage Zone” in Building B, INTRANAV.IO tracks the location and movement history.
- Hoppers are moved to the mixing area, INTRANAV.IO tracks location and movement history.
- After mixing, the recycled batch is updated and a new batch is created to match it in the MES (new batches with the status “Quality Lock”).
- INTRANAV.IO updates the E-Ink display according to how it was defined in the previous steps.
- Operator moves the container with status “Quality Lock” to the “Quality Zone”.
- When the container stops in the “Quality Zone”, INTRANAV.IO initiates an e-mail notification.
- Quality operator removes the sample from the hopper and carries out the powder test in the QMS.
Quality and Production Release
- Quality manager releases the batch in the MES and INTRANAV.IO will refresh the E-Ink display accordingly.
- The “Released” containers are moved to the interim storage, which initiates the notification for internal transport.