Just-In-Time (JIT) supply chain is nothing new. It is a simple idea but one that is essential in modern supply chain management. JIT aims to cut costs by reducing the number of goods and materials that a firm holds in stock. One of the most critical, fundamental, and costly aspects of JIT is knowing real-time inventory levels. So when a large chemical company needed to automate its supply chain in a JIT fashion, it called on Lab651.
The client company has tanks of its products scattered all over the world. These tanks are either fixed or mobile and are usually in remote areas used for oil production. In order to provide its “chemicals as a service,” the company needed to know the tank levels and conditions of the chemicals in a real-time fashion.
Engineers at Lab651 designed a device/system that could ride on a variety of tanks. We used sonar technology to measure the level of chemicals in a tank, GPS to know the location, and a myriad of other sensors to measure the environmental conditions of the product itself. The data is all sent to the cloud via cellular or satellite transmission.
Automating this process reduced truck rolls to evaluate tanks, provide a more accurate reading of levels, and predict the quality of the product once needed. Another added benefit was less work for the client’s customers and employees who were manually measuring the levels using sound… leading to product and brand loyalty.