Manufacturing execution systems​ customisation for better connectivity of the shop floor
Client background and business context

Client: mechanical and plant engineering company with extensive expertise in automation and digitisation, Industry 4.0 Production of machines and robots.

Client’s figures: €3.5 billion in revenue (2016)

Project: middleware for a series of MES, located in different countries

Challenges

The client is one of the market’s leaders, that provides machines and services for the automotive industry.

The company can also plan and implement turnkey paint shops and final assembly systems, as well as other machines and robot technologies.

Some of the main challenges that we have identified while planning the approach for this project were:

Building paint shops faster, while making them more reliable: ensure that the systems work accordingly no matter the country and respond to the operational needs sketched by the client.

Having different systems with specific particularities: with offices in over 32 countries, our client saw the need for connecting and unifying different MES.

Reduce waste: due to the possible errors that may have appeared during the implementation, the machines would do faulty pieces, thus leading to an increase in waste and capital losses.

Make the different MES communicate, no matter the market: as the company tackles more and more markets in different countries, the MES must keep up to the rhythm of development.

Facilitate the entry on new markets: having a comprehensive solution that would unite different MES, reduces the risks and the implementation costs associated with entering a new market

Our approach

In a consultative approach, and due to the complexity of the customer’s business, our consultants spent a fair amount of time gathering information. During a discovery workshop, we gathered the pains that the company had, together with a series of solutions that would enable our clients to reach their goals.

We started by integrating the MES with the client’s ERP solution. As part of the solution, we have integrated an MES solution with another MES solution for the end customers’ paint lines. Our team of specialists created a synchronisation mechanism and have also modernised the look and feel of the current system

Also, as part of this project, we created an application that tested the possible solutions for storage control to try to reduce the possible plant construction errors. After the integration, we also offered installation support and knowledge sharing sessions for making sure that the client was using the tool at its maximum capacity.

Connected services:

Technologies used:

Java

JavaServer Faces

Swagger

JBoss

SQL Server

Arquilian

Results

In a traditional approach, a first draft of such a tool, with visual support can take several months. With the help of the discovery workshop, our teams managed to handle a clickable visual support, ready to be pitched to the company’s stakeholders. This endeavour was put in place in a matter of days, thus decreasing the overall duration of the project.

Our client is now able to make paint shops completely functional faster and with fewer errors. 

With clear goals in mind, our solution managed to reduce the number of paint shop errors from 8-10% to 5%. Also, due to the decrease in errors, the company also saw a decrease in the waste generated by the eventual errors.

With the help of our solution, the company can tackle the insertion of new markets in a timely manner with less system implementation costs. As the solution connects different MES, the eventual customisation and localisation costs have been downgraded considerably.

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