ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

1pSA1. The use of radio tags to optimally manage production flow in a manufacturing facility.

Robert S. Reis

Savi Technology, Inc., Palo Alto, CA 94306

Radio tags have emerged as an exciting new tool to manage assets. Radio tags are miniature radio transmitter/radio receivers that can be attached to anything that moves. The tags report their location and memory contents to companion readers, called interrogators. A radio tag system can then complete a facility-wide physical inventory in minutes instead of days. Today, Savi's radio tags are used at a major US Air Force Maintenance Facility in San Antonio, Texas. This facility re-manufactures F-15, F-16, and C-5A aircraft engines. Tags are attached to engine sub-assemblies which can report hourly the sub-assembly status and location as the work progresses. Through the use of this radio tag system, dynamic resource scheduling can be applied to the work-in-progress to optimally manage production flow. It is envisioned that this system will save hundreds of millions of dollars in inventory costs.