BE Switchcraft, Australia-based switchboard maker, has adopted Zebra Technologies’ radio frequency identification (RFID) solution to gain real-time visibility of its manufacturing process and financial data to help better fulfil its customers’ expectations.
Based in Adelaide, BE Switchcraft manufactures customised electrical switchboards for large building applications such as the Parliament House Canberra, Adelaide Convention Centre, and Port Moresby Football Stadium.
Each switchboard is tailored to the customers’ requirements based on the needs of their respective building projects, which makes it a critical component. Thus, BE Switchcraft needs to constantly update its customers on their switchboards’ manufacturing progress.
As its business undergoes rapid growth, BE Switchcraft’s manual tracking process could no longer keep up with the increased workload. It needed to enhance its existing tracking process with automation to make updates timelier and more accurate.
“We needed real-time visibility into what was happening on our manufacturing floor,” said Anthony Spadavecchia, managing director of BE Switchcraft. “We started off with manual processes which were ineffective because the data collected became outdated before we could even analyse it.
The company then upgraded to a barcode scanning solution. While this had its merits, it required physical scanning of the switchboards and their accompanying documents by staff, which was not fully optimised for their manufacturing workflows.
“To continue our rapid growth rate, we needed to find an innovative partner who could help us deploy an even better solution,” said Spadavecchia.
To enhance BE Switchcraft’s processes, Zebra PartnerConnect business partner, Datanet, introduced an RFID solution which included Zebra’s FX9600 Fixed RFID readers, complemented by Zebra-compatible RFID antennas and an RFID label printer.
This solution helps the BE Switchcraft team gain real-time visibility into each stage of its switchboard manufacturing process. The data collected is integrated with BE Switchcraft’s MYOB enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to provide valuable updates on the status of each project and financial data associated with the projects in production.
“We worked closely with BE Switchcraft to truly understand their challenges before recommending Zebra’s RFID solution, and subsequently helping with the implementation,” said Steve Jenkins, state manager and RFID consultant at Datanet.