Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Boeing’s Tapestry weaves sensors for supply chain operations

Steve Rogerson
December 6, 2016
 
Boeing subsidiary Tapestry has launched a sensor integration software platform that could transform supply chain operations and help businesses tap the power of the IoT.
 
The ESI (enterprise software integration) middleware seamlessly connects people, processes and data on factory floors, supply chains and across the enterprise. By providing a standard infrastructure for data and analytics, it gives decision makers a complete picture of their inventory and asset movements during the production process.
 
"ESI is a game-changer in the industry," said Robin Wright, president and CEO of California-based Tapestry. “It will modernise supply chain and manufacturing operations and, in the process, help businesses grow their bottom line.”
 
ESI harnesses the power of big data, boosting manufacturing efficiency, productivity and profitability. It can, says the company, serve as the foundation for the IoT, where internet-enabled devices are connected, intelligent and interactive.
 
"ESI will not only give businesses a competitive advantage, it will also accelerate industry innovation around the globe," added Jens Pohl, vice president of engineering at Tapestry. “We're proud to be part of this IoT sensor revolution.”
 
ESI is based on Tapestry's field-proven technology deployed at 50 Boeing assembly plants. At aerospace company Boeing, the custom technology is called the AIT-IMS automated identification technology information management system. In its first year alone, AIT-IMS has saved Boeing approximately $100m through decreased assembly time, automated asset receipt and payment, enhanced inventory management, and improved quality and safety.
 
Tapestry's commercial ESI uses a cloud-based platform and integration with temperature sensors, thermostats, pressure sensors and humidity sensors.
 
Through data fusion, it integrates a myriad of sensor technologies that track, monitor and control assets and workflow processes on a common platform. It combines data from sensors, software and electronics – from bar codes, RFID, wifi and GPS tags to scanners and ultra-wideband wireless systems.
 
The technology also unlocks the opportunity of the future IoT, where everything is smart and interconnected – from smart cities and homes to smart factories. For manufacturing, ESI is not limited to tracking assets and enhancing supply chain visibility, but can also be linked to a building's infrastructure and equipment, and manage heating, lighting and door security systems as well as machine sensors.
 
The enterprise-class platform has interconnected numerous aspects of Boeing's asset management and supply chain. As a result of its implementation, AIT-IMS will serve as the platform for Boeing's IoT integration efforts.
 
Tapestry provides information management software and services for military, government and commercial markets. Backed by Boeing, it helps solve logistics problems for the world's largest and most complex supply chains. The company also provide mission planning, training and simulation support to increase readiness for military operations. Headquartered in San Diego, it has customers in more than 50 locations around the world.