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Continental Tire Plant Increases Productivity, Reduces Waste

After installing AeroScout Wi-Fi-based RFID tags and RTLS software, the company's French factory is producing 5,000 more tires per day, while decreasing waste of materials by 20 percent.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 25, 2012The Continental Tire factory in Sarreguemines, France, has increased its production of tires from 33,000 tires per day to 38,000, thanks to a real-time location system (RTLS) it installed in September 2011 to track tire components. The RTLS has also helped the company reduce wastage of tire components, known as "semi products," by 20 percent.

The system, which uses AeroScout's Wi-Fi tags and MobileView software, was installed in the company's Sarreguemines plant with the goal of reducing bottlenecks and production delays caused by missing materials, as well as increasing productivity. Continental Tire has also installed AeroScout's system at its plant in Mount Vernon, Ill. Both sites are using AeroScout's Wi-Fi tags and software in conjunction with Global Data Sciences' material inventory tracking system (MITS) software for inventory data management.

Christian Matejicek, Continental Tire's IT director
Continental Tire produces 1,000 different kinds of tires at its Sarreguemines location, which encompasses 138,000 square meters. In the past the plant's staff relied on grid lines painted on the floor and handwritten details about the location of carriers—the various large wheeled carts that are loaded with sheets of rubber or other components and are transported from storage to workstations as tires are built. If a carrier was not where it was expected to be, a worker had to start looking for it manually. "Manual tracking was not only inaccurate and time-consuming, we often lost track of semi products altogether, which impacted production, " says Christian Matejicek, IT manager at Continental Tire in Sarreguemines.

Growth in its business made it necessary for the company to find a way to increase its production capacity. Therefore, Continental Tire went to Belgian systems integrator Phi Data, seeking a solution. Phi Data selected AeroScout's software and Wi-Fi tags, which would work with the Sarreguemines site's existing Cisco Unified Wireless Network solution.

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