WINCHESTER, Va. – Cabinetry manufacturing giant American Woodmark earns attention for its broad application of radio frequency identification chips (RFID), used to track materials at seven of its nine factories.
RIFD is seen as a key factor in raising worker productivity, which has been in decline across the U.S., despite computerization of individual machinery. RFID, along with barcode identification systems, is seen in larger as part of the process for automating the links among machinery, work in process, and to order entry through delivery of cabinets and vanities.
American Woodmark 's David Johnson, materials and project manager, tells the Wall St. Journal that more than nine million of the transmitting tags are used annually at its seven plants. Johnson says RFID has reduced the labor in materials inventory by two-thirds, while accuracy is nearly perfect, compared to 80 percent accuracy in the manual process.
American Woodmark received the APICS Corporate Award of Excellence in Innovation last year, for its commitment to the supply chain industry through investments in a new technology process (RFID) to improve inventory systems and inventory control.
“We’ve initiated some extensive and unique applications of RFID across our facilities,” said Johnson, who is certified as an inventory management professinal. “We are grateful to be recognized for these innovations.”
American Woodmark was also specifically recognized for how the RFID system across its operations to enhanced visibility across the manufacturing process.
“In four years, American Woodmark enabled seven of their supply chain facilities with RFID and continue to do so in their expansion from cabinet doors and cabinet drawer fronts to front frames," said APICS's chief executive Abe Eshkenazi during the awards ceremony. "The continued drive for innovation helps American Woodmark reduce cycle count labor and data input labor, improve inventory accuracy, visibility, and reduce training hours.”
American Woodmark builds vanities for the remodeling and new home construction markets, selling nationally through home centers, major builders and through a network of independent distributors. www.americanwoodmark.com.
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