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Preactor and EDV Forms Lasting Scheduling Relationship
May 2007

EDV Packaging is a Spanish group of companies who are leaders in hard barrier plastic packaging for the food industry worldwide. They have more than 30 years experience in food packaging, invests more than 3% of their sales in R+D, exports more than 75% of their production and is a recognized supplier to most food companies groups around the world. The company’s headquarters is located in Llinars del Valles, Barcelona, and has commercial offices in Australia, the United States and Singapore.

In the late 80’s, the company drew up a strategy with a goal to become the leader of this technology. It dedicated huge resources to the development of innovative food packaging solutions, deployed a global sales network, and established systems that guaranteed the optimal quality of its products and services.  EDV Packaging has developed original techniques in the production process both in the finished goods and in the process of producing plastic sheet or barrier packaging using two process technologies that it has mastered; co-extrusion and thermoforming. In this way they have positioned its products in two main niche markets, MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) and Long-Life Packaging.

The quest for an accurate planning system for the 2 production plants involved a very thorough and demanding process whereby all the major players participated, and finally Binary Technologies and Preactor were chosen to provide the solution.  Together they offered greater versatility, adaptability and best fit to the requirements of the company.

At the headquarters in Llinars del Valles two plants operate, one focused on co-extrusion and the other on thermoforming.  However they are deeply dependent on one another and have to be synchronized. The co-extrusion process incorporates different layers of polymers with different properties in a single flexible film or rigid sheet allowing them to achieve the barrier properties required for the end product.  Thermoforming uses the co-extruded sheets to produce the rigid packaging used in products that we use daily such a yogurt in pots, dishes of fresh pasta, butter tubs, and small containers of jam in hotels.

Pablo Vega is the Planning Manager.  “We used to plan with a complex worksheet and spent a lot of time getting information from our ERP System FAS5. This was slow and unwieldy and didn’t allow us to have the visibility of future problems that we needed.”
Julio Consola commented on the requirements of the application.  “From the beginning we focused on the integration of the needs of each business unit as well as the synchronization between them. They needed a tool that would allow a dialog between each business units that would easily show the current and future problems associated with delivering good customer service and provide support the decision making process.”

Typical problems to overcome included demand exceeding capacity, sudden customer changes to orders, breakdowns of equipment and lack of raw materials.

Julio again.  “The project was quite complicated.  We needed to integrate Preactor with their ERP system and the plant data collection package.  Real time data transfer was essential to maintain an up to date schedule. We implemented the system in 2 phases each taking 4 months.  The first phase gave them the basic features they needed and this was further improved based on feedback from users.”

And the benefits?  The project has completed its first stage on implementation and has already provided a stock reduction of 20%, planning time has reduced from 2 hours to 20 minutes, efficiency has improved by 20%, and on-time delivery performance doubled.

Pablo Vega commented on the project. “With Preactor we have got rid of much of the paperwork we had before.  Although these operations were absolutely essential to be able to schedule at all it did not add value and it did not give us the visibility on the current state of pending orders so we could establish priorities accordingly. Now we have an integrated schedule between the two plants generated using real constraints that we update daily.  It allows us to manage everyday alerts, current and future, depending on events in logistic supply chain, as well as the production progress. At this moment, we have some indicators that alert us to customer delivery delays, as well as future problems related to the stock level of critical materials that will occur if we don’t take preemptive action. In addition we also have tools that allow us to show our customers what the impact will be on their on their delivery due to late changes and this puts us in a much more favorable position in achieving a dominant place in this market, a market that highly values the service level and the quality”.

And the future?  At the present time, the project is in process of optimizing the functionalities and Preactor has become the only internal planning tool.  Additional benefits can be expected to accrue.