When you think about heavy machinery used in factories and worksites, you probably think of equipment from Caterpillar! They are the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, along with diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. Being such a large company, it’s imperative to stay well organized to keep your operations running smoothly. That’s why Caterpillar reached out to SWIP Systems: they wanted to see what solutions we could come up with to improve their parts inventory system, using our custom approach.
Because their inventory is so elaborate, Caterpillar was looking for a better system to more easily track the parts they use to support their manufacturing efforts. Their existing system wasn’t very easy to use, and they weren’t getting the accuracy they were looking for.
We worked with them to develop a windows based application to help track everything. Our developers added wireless scanners and label printers into their new system, which would allow new parts to be easily scanned in and out of the inventory. This is a lot faster and more efficient than writing parts down by hand! Along with system integration, the windows app also contained several useful features:
- A location where pictures of the parts could be uploaded and viewed so that users would have better ease of access in knowing what they were looking at.
- Reporting functionality to let users quickly print things like inventory level reports.
One big challenge of this project was implementing the application and system into Caterpillars network in a secure manner. To accomplish this, we worked with their system admin to gain necessary access and locate servers where the system could be installed.
When everything was complete, we showed all of the new system features to the team at Caterpillar. They were happy to see how everything was tied together and were excited to have a more accurate method of data collection and reporting.