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Preactor Extracts the Best from Food Processing Machine Maker
February 2002

FMC Technologies, Inc., a spin off company from the machinery portion of the FMC Corporation, founded some 100 years ago making world class products, is a global leader in mission-critical technology solutions through its industry-leading businesses that include FMC Energy Systems, FMC FoodTech and FMC Airport Systems.

Each business has established positions in its key markets, making FMC Technologies a driving force in the energy, food processing and air transportation markets from its inception.  Their business provides a broad range of products and services that create solutions for customers world-wide and generates US$2 billion in revenues.

FMC Technologies do Brasil, FoodTech Group, based in Araraquara, SP, is a speciality machine maker from Juice Extractors to Fryers and Freezers for the food industry.  Employing some 300 people who maintain and repair existing machines as well as build new equipment, FMC has chosen Preactor as their scheduling system.

Orders are entered into an existing sales order processing software, while the assembly details and process routing (there are up to 10 operations for each part and 800 operations for a complete assembly) are held in a Progress database.  This generates the works orders for manufacturing.

There are approximately 100 resources to schedule up to six months ahead and account must be taken of resource dependent set-up and operation times as well as operators available with the required skills.  In addition the schedule must recognise the relationship between works orders by pegging materials between them.

Before installing Preactor the company’s production control was entirely dependent on a few very knowledgeable employees who spent many hours tracking and expediting parts to meet the tight delivery dates, especially for machines that had to be repaired where a fast turn-round was needed by their customer to keep production going.

Preactor APS 400 was selected over the scheduling software used by their US parent because of the availability of local support in Brazil, ease of integration with their existing legacy software, and various unique Preactor features that enabled them to quickly update and repair the current schedule when linked to a shop floor data collection system.

Eduardo Zanoni and Joel Sena implemented Preactor with the assistance of TECMARAN, the Master Reseller for Preactor in South America.  Eduardo comments on the Preactor installation.

“We have a much better forward view of capacity constraints now than we did before and we can react quickly to problems such as late delivery of materials or the arrival of a machine for urgent repair.  Because we generate a works order for each level of the BOM it was essential that we used Preactor’s SMC feature to link them together so that any problems with components upstream of final assembly could be reflected on our delivery time”.

FMC has already begun to see the benefits just 3 months after implementation.  This has included better control of production, automatic prioritisation of batches based on due date and customer importance, and better customer service.

Denilson Cavalho is the manager of Tecmaran.  “The success we have achieved was very much dependent on an effective project team.  Our knowledge of Preactor and how it could be customised for FMC combined with FMC’s engineers deep understanding of the processes has meant that they have a system that has had an immediate impact and can be expanded in the future’’.