GE Transportation has a plant in Fort Worth, TX. This plant utilizes carts to move material around the factory to organize and assemble kits. As the carts traverse the plant floor, the plant often has bottlenecks, which can leave carts sitting idle at one station for days at a time. This plant has recently installed RFID tags on all of their carts with scanners at each station in order to track the carts as they flow through. With this new stream of data, the plant urgently needs the capability to intelligently assess their process so they can remove these bottlenecks and drive plant efficiency.
How we built it
Dynamic Mapping, UAA, Time Series, Predix Machine, Intel Edison Board, PostGres, Cascade, and Predix-UI-Seed
Our application, FLO (Flow Logistics Optimization) leverages the RFID live data stream of timestamp-ed cart locations along with Predix's dynamic mapping service in order to visualize carts on the map as they move through the plant. This enables plant workers and management to see where carts and kits are along the manufacturing process at any given time. Along with this, we've built a set of analytics, which leverage this RFID data to do cycle analysis, empowering management to identify and address performance challenges around kits, stations and employees. Lastly, we've configured an Intel® Edison Board with built-in simulation sensors to be applied at the Assembly Stations in Fort Worth, in order to identify potential performance issues early on by visualizing data from sensors on the machines at these work stations.
Challenges we ran into
Dynamic Mapping - Edison Board: Initial configuration provided many challenges for us. Ran into issues with known bugs around Windows 7. Data: We had major challenges with the cleanliness of the data. Currently there are a many repeating records, where the same cart is read multiple times as it passes by an scanner. As well, many airwave frequencies interfere with the RFID system which has caused misreads to be recorded.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Surviving the cold in the tent booth on Tuesday night.
- Surviving the heat and blinding sunshine in the tent booth on Wednesday morning.
- Got our url live and functioning.
- Working Intel Edison Board with incoming data.
- Executing on a real business problem from GE Transportation, and providing immediate business value for that team.
What we learned
- Live data feed correlating to Dynamic Mapping.
- Features on Dynamic Mapping.
- (hashtag) Mannequin Challenge
What's next for FLO (Flow Logistics Optimization)
- Live implementation of the Edison Board at the assembly station for testing, and further implementation at all stations as relevant.
- Cleansing and process improvement around the RFID data collection. There is a lot off repetitive reads done as carts pass the scanners.
- Continued development of analytics. There is still a lot more that can be done to make our dashboard even more impactful to improve the plants processes.
- Further scoped out dynamic mapping