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How WIPtracker tracks WIP Materials

WIPtracker uses Container-Based materials tracking rather than Item Locator parts tracking, which is used by ERP and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). In performing Item locator tracking, a WMS tracks the quantity of material, by part number, at each location in warehouse.

ContainerTracking

BellHawk tracks containers of material using a similar method to FedEx, Amazon, and UPS. In this we place a unique tracking barcode on each container of materials and then scan the barcode on the containers whenever materials are added to the container, withdrawn from the container, or the container is moved to a new location.

When tracking work-in-process, as well as left over materials, it is essential to track the quantity in each individual container, along with their lot number, possibly expiration date, their QC status, which customer they belong to, and which project they were purchased for.

ContainerTracking

For example, we may have purchased a batch of 6 reels of wire with 100 feet on each reel. But after the first customer job, we have two reels left, one with 30 feet and one with 50 feet. In a WMS we would show this as having 80 feet available. But, if we needed a continuous run of 75 feet for the next job, we would be out of stock and would need to order another reel.

By placing a tracking barcode on each reel, we can track the individual reels and how much is left on each reel. The same applies to sheets and rolls, except here we are tracking length and width. This also applies to pipes and rods, where we place a tracking barcode on each pipe and rod and record its length.

It is for reasons like this that most organizations do not use their WMS system to track their work-in-process inventory and instead supplement their WMS with the use of Excel spreadsheets to track their work-in-process, which can be time consuming and error prone, if done at all.

BellHawk WIPtracker

With WIPtracker, tracking is done in a containers table in the BellHawk database, where each entry is referenced by its tracking barcode.

In this table BellHawk tracks data such as part number, quantity, lot number, serial number, expiration date, location, quality control status, customer, project, length and width, as well as user defined parameters, such as color and hardness.

The tracking barcodes used by WIPtracker can come from preprinted rolls of serialized barcodes or can be printed out, on demand, using a label-print server IIOT box, as new containers of material are entered into inventory.

Note that the location barcodes used by WIPtracker are usually the same as are used by the WMS so that changes in container contents or location can be immediately reflected in the WMS and/or ERP system through MilramX.

Please click here to return to an Overview of WIPtracker.


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