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EMAG-SERWIS finds a rich seam of efficiency improvements with Preactor
October 2010
emag2.pngEMAG-SERWIS Sp. z o.o., based in Katowice, Poland, specializes in the manufacturing of models, prototypes, small-batch and unit production of devices designed to improve safety in the mining industry. The company's product line includes methane detectors, sensors measuring air parameters, and seismic equipment. The production of devices requires meeting high quality standards.


Thanks to funding from European Union projects - EMAG-SERWIS had already received subsidies for expansion four times - the company has a modern production line for the design and assembly of electronic products, modern CNC systems, specialist CAD/CAM software with a measurement system, and an ultrasonic washing machine and station for conformal coating. EMAG-SERWIS also has a measurement laboratory to check the metrological parameters of the devices it manufactures.




The assembly of components is automated or semi-automatic and is based on the product's technological specification. The production process involves:-
  • SMT assembly
  • THT assembly.
  • CNC machining - milling and turning.
  • Chemical treatment.
  • Quality control.
 

The visual inspection of products is conducted with the use of an automated optical inspection (AOI) system. The system tests sub-assemblies to detect any defects. The subassemblies are also tested on lab stations provided with anti-static laboratory tables and measuring equipment to check whether their readings are correct.

THE PLANNING PROCESS, PROBLEMS AND CHOOSING SCHEDULING SOLUTION

Production scheduling, before the implementation of Preactor 400 APS system, was based on an Excel spreadsheet.

Examples of Excel spreadsheets used by EMAG-SERWIS such as that shown below.

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Due to the nature of production (mainly small and medium series), highly developed technology bill of material and routing, high frequency of changes in priority of orders etc., planning was very time consuming and laborious. The main problems for the planner included the need for frequent updating of the production schedule and setting "manually" the order of operations to be produced together with production of sub-assemblies. This process prevented the possibility of quickly identifying realistic due dates for orders.

After testing several systems for managing production EMAG-SERWIS decided to purchase and implement the Preactor 400 APS scheduling solution. The key reasons for choosing Preactor included:-
  • The possibility for the close integration with the ERP system "Graffiti" used by EMAG-SERIWS.
  • The flexibility in terms of functionality and presentation of their production process.
  • The ability to create reports based on the planner’s needs.
An additional advantage was the ability to partially finance the purchase of Preactor from European Union funds under the Sectoral Operational Programme "Improvement of Competitiveness of Enterprises".

The integration with ERP and implementation was carried out by Prętczyński sp. z o.o, the Preactor Network Partner in Poland.

BENEFITS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION

Thanks to Preactor, EMAG-SERIWS has gained the possibility of a rapid assessment of available due dates for customer orders, and immediate response to changes, breakdowns, or material shortages. Implementation of Preactor has greatly improved the efficiency of the production planning process.

This is especially noticeable in the shorter time needed for production planning (60 - 70% less), the reduced amount retooling, the eliminating of scheduling errors, and the especially adapted production schedules (reports) which proved to be very helpful for the production and logistics managers in optimizing warehouse processes, supply and production.

Implementation of Preactor by Prętczyński sp. z o.o. proceeded smoothly. All essential requirements for the solutions have been delivered, necessary modifications made, and training provided to the planner to make efficient use of the new planning system.