Last month, we showcased the Seal at the largest supply chain expo in North and South America.
MODEX 2018 is also known as “the greatest supply chain show on earth,” which seems about right—this year’s show received more than 30,000 people from 140 countries. Our very own Brian Jones was there with the Seal to get in on the action. What are the latest trends in logistics and manufacturing? How are we using the Seal to simplify tasks for customers (and for ourselves)? Here’s what we learned and how we can help your business.
3 ways to futureproof your supply chain (and how we can help you do it)
1. Internet of Things (IoT)
Ah, the Internet of Things. It’s the process of using sensors—such as RFID—to communicate information from one machine to another. And according to Brian Jones, it was one of the biggest trends people were talking about at MODEX.
“At MODEX, we talked to dispatchers, distribution officers, logisticians, purchasing clerks, and supply chain supervisors,” says Brian. “These types of workers said they want to use RFID readers in an IoT environment so they can track inputs and outputs instantly. For example, the RFID sensor on a device such as the Seal would communicate with a sensor on an incoming shipment and automatically track it to a database.”
The RFID sensor on a device such as the Seal would communicate with a sensor on an incoming shipment and automatically track it to a database.
I asked our senior manager of production, Larry Militello, how IoT, sensors, and scanners enhance our own production process at Bak USA. “Right now, every technician uses the Seal’s barcode scanner to scan every device they build,” Larry said. “Then they press a start button on the Seal, and through a software system, we’re able to track the assembly process for that device—who built it and touched it through every step. The Seal can be equipped with RFID for IoT, which we’re preparing to incorporate in our own processes soon.”
Is your business equipped for IoT? See how the Seal can help. Learn more.
2. Process Automation
You don’t need to work in logistics or manufacturing to know that a business must operate with speed and efficiency. To pull it off, many companies are automating their processes—they’re using mobile computers and apps to enter, transfer, and upload information instantly.
“Think about general workflow for companies that manage deliveries,” says Brian Jones. “If a logistics supervisor on one side of a warehouse has just accepted an order for 1,000 units, what’s the fastest way she can communicate that to her team? It’s all about input and visibility. With the Seal and industry-specific apps, people can perform the same tasks over and over with one tool in any location.”
With the Seal and industry-specific apps, people can perform the same tasks over and over with one tool in any location.
I asked our order fulfillment manager, Heather Henderson, how we use the Seal to manage workflows at Bak USA. “Every technician has a Seal to clock in and out,” she told me. “And the Seal has a barcode scanner, so once we’re fully integrated into our new computer system, we’ll be able to scan barcodes and track inventory.”
Looking to support your own automation with rugged tablets? Check out the Seal.
We’ve already seen how robotics can create jobs for people, not take them away. And we can’t speak for everyone, but many companies implement the use of robots and cobots to simplify manufacturing processes.
“But a lot of workers are looking for the tools that can support their robotics,” says Brian. “Certain production automations such as robotics, with the right tools such as the Seal, can speed up processes that allow people to do more.”
Certain production automations such as robotics, with the right tools such as the Seal, can speed up processes that allow people to do more.
I asked our director of advanced manufacturing, Matt Malloy, how we use robotics here at Bak USA. More specifically, how do our computers enhance that process? “As Larry will tell you, our technicians use the Seal to track their progress while building our computers,” Matt said. “When it comes to connecting the tablets with the cobots themselves—so when you push the start button on a Seal tablet, the cobot starts to work—we have plans to fully integrate that co-automation process in the future.”
Need rugged tablets to support your robotics program? Drop us a line.
Check out all the tech specs, configurations, product comparisons and more on our Seal Downloads Page.
And if you’re looking for a little inspiration at your startup or small business, you’ll want to watch this video.