As a packaging OEM, it's likely you're under intense pressure to provide the best level of service to your end customers as possible, from entire processing lines to the smallest of critical parts. At the same time, keeping tabs on the range of critical parts and components specified for your builds can be a complex, time-consuming proposition, especially when it comes time to reorder.
One tool designed to simplify these processes and reduce paperwork for OEMs is digital asset tracking, such as with the Parker Tracking System (PTS).
This web-based asset tracking and management system combine part serialization with tagging and a range of part-specific information so that OEMs can track, organize, and manage their use of critical parts. As a cloud-based tracking solution, users have online access to needed documents like parts lists, manuals, diagrams, certifications and more. The result is easier tracking and management of critical parts, reduced lead time and complexity in ordering, and enhanced service, safety, and compliance features.
It's both a program and a technology that we pioneered just over a decade ago out of a long-term focus on providing superior service, convenience and value to supply chain partners and customers. Initially used to track and manage specifically engineered hose assemblies, PTS has expanded over the years to cover products across many of our divisions. Today, some 25 million assets in 62 countries and thousands of locations are being tracked and managed using PTS. Subscribers include distributors, OEMs, and end-users in the automotive, healthcare, oil and gas, food and beverage, and other market segments.
Packaging OEMs using PTS stand to gain greater convenience and better oversight because the system takes over much of the tedious parts-related paperwork that OEMs used to handle themselves, to keep customer-specific part and assembly data organized.
"A lot of the machines that get sold and shipped to customers still come with traditional parts manuals or books. Rarely are people receiving this critical data digitally, which makes maintaining it that much more challenging."
William Sayavich, technology manager, Global Services
PTS automates the process with the creation of unique PTS identification numbers, records, and corresponding tags for each specific asset, kit, component or sub-assembly made by Parker or a Parker business partner.
Each PTS tag contains four critical pieces of information: a unique 8-digit PTS ID number and machine-readable bar code assigned to the asset; the asset's assembly date; a customizable part number or bar code corresponding to the OEM; and reordering information. Labels can typically be personalized for the OEM with logos and other contact information.
PTS also can serialize kits or combinations of part numbers associated with specific builds using "master"-level PTS tags to manage the collection of specified parts assigned to one customer or one machine.
By scanning the PTS bar code via phone or handheld device, or manually entering the ID number into the PTS application using a web-connected computer, OEMs then have access to this information, including the detailed bill of material, certifications, and the specifications used to create the part or assembly.
PTS asset records are available 24/7, and some of the data can be accessed via mobile phone using the PTS Mobile app. And unlike printed parts manuals and books, PTS information also can be gated for specific users, allowing administrators to assign access to specific team members who require it.
Much of the ongoing value of PTS is to the customer, who will find it easier to reorder genuine replacement parts without having to hunt for part numbers. Because the tag offers a bar code, the OEM can simply scan the tag to understand exactly what needs to be replaced.
Having easy access to exact components and assembly details is critical for OEMs and their customers seeking fast service or replacements for complex builds, as well as a greater understanding of the scope of critical components.
The biggest value of PTS for both OEMs and customers is its use on assemblies or kits containing multiple specific parts selected to make up that component for a certain application.
The labels are valuable because they identify the manufacture date and supplier of each component and give the end-user a simple, reliable, and accurate way to reorder the exact same part when it’s necessary. This means that even when the OEM turns a build over to an end-user, that customer still has full knowledge of the tracked parts within that machine, should they need to be replaced or serviced.
Download our report, Tracking and Optimizing Inventory Control: Two Purchasing Tactics for Packaging OEMs and learn how implementing key strategies will streamline the ways OEMs look at their inventories--saving time, effort, and money in the process.
Article contributed William Sayavich, technology manager for Parker Global Services.
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