Case Study: Global Tier 1 Supplier Automates Production Orders.
SOLUTION: Paperless Work Order System delivers an efficient electronic delivery of information and reduces costs without diminishing quality.
PAIN POINTS ADDRESSED:
- A slow process with many manufacturing facilities is productions work order packets printing and tediously travel with the physical order through every operation to various buckets or packets.
- These packets contained everything that was needed to build their widgets. The Part Number and Work Order Numbers and barcodes. The Bill of Material list, or Areas list, the Widget drawings, the Test specification, the Paint Specifications,etc.
- A full time resource is dedicated to compiling and delivering these work order packets to the various locations on the plant floor.
- Management and manufacturing staff aren’t able to simultaneously view current work order packets and update as seamlessly as needed.
- Pounds of paper daily wasted on printing and excessive hours spent by managers and operators collating hard copies of each order.
THE COLLABORATIVE SOLUTION:
Collaborating with the client, Credo’s first task was to take the observable processes and provide a digital roadmap to replace the physical packets with scannable labels and a digital folder to be viewed on a tablet or other electronic devices.
Using that information, Credo determined the type of automations, databases, web or app hosting and user interfaces that were needed. Out of that roadmap, Credo proposed four primary areas that would need to integrate and create to make this project work.
SAP & BOTS & OCR:
Our client used SAP as their ERP System. The majority of the information that was needed was contained in SAP in some fashion, which was nice. For the paperless project, Credo needed the ability to download all the various documents and organize them by Order.
Credo worked with the SAP team to reassign the printers for certain lines to print to pdf instead of an actual printer. That was a good first step. As soon as any order was released it would print each page to a pdf.
Credo next focused on creating the BOTs or Automations that would be needed. One BOT was created to “watch” the folder where SAP printed the pdfs. Each new document was digitally scanned and using OCR we would determine what Order the print belonged to and what type of page it was….Area list, Test Specs, etc.
Then these were moved to an Order folder and organized by type which was an integral step. A second BOT was created to log into SAP and pull the Drawings for all active part numbers. This would run during non peak hours until all active part number drawings were available.This system allows the operators and managers to electronically view Bill of Materials(BOMs), drawings, test specifications, paint specifications, and more.
Labels and Servers, SQL, Angular, API:
The label that accompanied the order itself. Without the packet a label was needed to identify the order and provide a barcode to provide an order search. The client logistics team helped to make a “label ziplock” of sorts to house the project label. The logistics team provided a label prototype and Credo created a program to find and print order labels on demand. In addition, an RFID was added to the label for future tracking needs.
Connecting backoffice servers for the APIs, databases and web hosting, Credo worked with our client to order the necessary databases and web server space. In this case these were SQL databases, Microsoft APIs, and Angular websites. Credo tested these with end users to ensure they could seamlessly find, zoom and navigate the various documents they needed.
Facing the ZOR:
The initial response was much as expected. Logistics was enthusiastic about a digital paperless solution. However, some managers and floor operators felt the ZOR(Zone of Resistance) to this innovative improvement. Credo was initially faced questions such as “now how am I going to lookup a component,” or “how can I find the drawing?”
Once shown how easy the site was to navigate and how easy the information was to search, most were onboard pretty quickly. Credo is committed to creating more efficient and user friendly software implementations.
Epic success! The ease of use, reliability, and beautiful user interface of Credo solutions, as well as the responsiveness of the Credo team, have impressed everyone involved in this project’s full cycle.Client Project Manager
Through the collaborative effort of Credo Software and the supplier, the initiative was tailored to the suppliers needs following their plant wide processes. The supplier has calculated a significant cost savings of six figures per year predicted from hourly time saved alone.
Promotes Time & Cost Savings
The live walk through of the paperless production initiative was proclaimed an epic success by the logistics manager. The order was hand walked through the entire process from Kitting to Shipping. Based on the successful outcome of the live test, personal in all departments were trained on the first value stream production line.
Going paperless can be a tremendously cost effective way for any manufacturing company to begin their journey of implementing new technologies gradually without the need to abandon existing systems.