APplus Series production
Are my machines being utilized in the best way possible? Is the required material present at the right time in sufficient quantity? How do I remain flexible, yet keep my warehousing costs low?
Optimum utilization and linking the resulting information streams is no longer conceivable without the qualified use of specialized IT systems. That makes series producers or companies in the automotive industry absolute pioneers in the implementation of IT-supported customer and supplier relationships as well as cross-company business processes (EDI, Collaborative Commerce).
- General contracts in purchasing and sales
- Delivery schedules
- Just-in-time delivery schedules
- Container management
- Consignment warehouse
- Anticipation of credit
- Automatic linkage of ATL@S processes
The specific requirements series producers have for their IT systems are, however, not simply limited to correct transmission of delivery schedules, shipping orders and shipping notifications. Beyond this they also have very high demands on the planning accuracy and documentation of their production processes. Of primary importance here is the capability of responding flexibly to altered quantity and deadline requirements. This is because the reported needs are continuously subjected to broader fluctuation ranges—with ever lower lead times. Moreover, the traceability of delivered products is highly relevant to certain product statuses or raw materials.
Compliance with defined quality assurance procedures and cycles as well as the documentation of their results also place high demands on suppliers. In addition, extremely high transparency in the cost structures is in high demand. That is the only way to ensure that, despite the constant price pressure, money is still earned. The special APplus modules for series producers and automotive suppliers fully cover all of these demands and enable appropriate handling for all specific processes for the industry—regardless of whether the processes involve manufacturing individual parts or delivering complete system components.
Order tracking lets you retrieve the status and progress of a production order at any time. Traffic light signals indicate the respective status of the work cycle and the material used. This lets you immediately detect a delay and respond accordingly. Every employee also has the option of having his or her pool of tasks displayed with a personalized user-centric portal. Moreover, critical orders can be displayed immediately in a transparent manner. The state-of-the-art software architecture of APplus (XML Web services) pays off particularly where state-of-the-art EDI processes are to be implemented—an essential contribution to reducing costs.
APplus for series producers links widely varying company departments and functional areas, coordinates processes in a targeted manner and controls them across companies. The result is integrated information processing. The benefit quickly becomes clear: Shorter cycle times, increased productivity and more speed thanks to the smooth exchange of information in the process chain. And not least of all, this efficiency contributes to improved supplier evaluations.
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For APplus, advanced planning and scheduling involves a forward-looking, comprehensive and detailed planning tool for managing a company's entire supply chain. Users have a full palette of simple, user-friendly tools and filter functions for automated planning at their disposal. Any follow-up steps such as materials resource planning or generating order proposals can also happen automatically if desired. Information about workshop orders and work cycles is visually formatted as a planning board (Gantt chart). This way overdue work steps and deadlines can be identified and graphically displayed via forward scheduling
Process preparation can be further optimized manually via subsequent modifications in APplus, such as to deadlines, setup times or alternative machine groups or via shifts on the planning board. All of these tools enable companies to respond flexibly to fluctuations in demand and bottlenecks and to monitor the use of all resources in accordance with criteria such as on-time delivery performance, cycle times or inventory reduction. This also allows companies to improve productivity by providing optimized coordination of all production processes.
All of these business processes between customer and supplier are implemented based on standardized Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) processes. Different manufacturers and countries, however, prefer different standards, such as VDA, ODETTE or EDIFACT. These standard also frequently modified and supplemented for a particular manufacturer. In order to be able to reliably portray all possible variants of electronic communication in series production and the automotive industry, you need a lot of experience with the various EDI standards and the different communication processes.
For this APplus relies on the tried-and-tested XML-based Business Integration Server (BIS) from SEEBURGER AG. Alternatively, the myOpenFactory platform is available. Thanks to its comprehensive functionality, the solution provides greater transparency, faster response times and greater process reliability. The result is a reduction down to essential content. Another big advantage of myOpenFactory is the ability to reach all business partners with just a single interface.
The objective of effective shop floor control is to provide information on work cycles, material, capacity and personnel everywhere it is actually needed, as well as to support the workshop with order processing. Both the process chains in production and the activities for the employees involved in manufacturing are controlled in APplus via the status of the work cycle. Here the scheduler explicitly approves the workshop orders for production.
Then the information about the capacity situation and the availability of the needed materials is available to the scheduler. The employees involved in manufacturing can see vital information on their login screen, such as the activities they have to carry out and information on which materials they need. This eliminates the time-consuming, expensive process of printing documents.
Whether logging orders or tracking staff work time—optimized and secure plant data collection from APplus means all information regarding relevant company processes meshes without issue. Regardless of whether the data is related to personnel, orders or materials. This component provides the actual status of the processes in the company in just a few mouse clicks.
High-quality industrial terminals are used as devices for recording data. Alternatively, a computer-based input screen is used, which, due to its online capability, also permits the collection of decentralized time reporting at subsidiaries or even for service calls or site installations.