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Innovation and precision in production planning at Bosch with Preactor APS
June 2015
With a turnover of approximately 46.1 billion euros and about 281,000 employees distributed in its 225 factories, Bosch operates in the Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Energy and Building Technology and Consumer Goods.

To meet the needs of dies and molds in its production areas, Bosch has its own tooling. In Brazil they have been developing this area over 50 years, with continuous investment which translates into efficiency of the tools, products and services, as progressive dies, injection molds (Engineering Thermoplastics, Thermoset, Aluminum), devices special (machining, testing, assembly, drive, Check) and calibrators.

Initially created to meet only domestic demand, the good performance of the area led Bosch to offer its tooling services to other industries that also produce technical parts.

The demand strongly increased and their tooling business began to run, on average, around 3,000 operations simultaneously at any given time. This put a lot of pressure on production planning and scheduling, requiring greater flexibility, capability to accommodate larger number of variables, agility to give delivery dates and evaluate ‘What if?’ scenarios for better decision making.

In this scenario, the planning and scheduling systems based on traditional resources MRPII and spreadsheets proved to be limited in supporting Bosch in achieving their delivery deadline goals, for planning production without considering the real capacity of the plant and without taking into account the interdependence of the various work centers where it is processed by each stage of a tool component.

To keep delivering quality products and increase the level of service without giving up the quest to reduce lead times, Bosch innovated once again and chose Preactor 400 APS as their planning and scheduling tool in their tooling business.

The project scope had as main objectives:
  • Optimize production capacity,
  • Reduce the time consuming manual processes analysis of sorting and grouping order,
  • Improve Personal Vacation Planning, preventive maintenance planning and machine reforms
  • Improve visibility on availability of resources,
  • Improve the process of delivery promises and increase increased competitiveness.
Before the purchase, however, a design workshop was performed to further evaluate the needs, demonstrate the full potential of Preactor and how it can handle complex scheduling issues and to determine the integration with SAP (ERP system used by Bosch).

The project timescale was estimated at 10 weeks, but Preactor was implemented in 8 weeks, thanks to skill and commitment of the deployment team and the support provided by all involved in the project.

By understanding the importance of all of the Bosch team adhering to Preactor, PPI-Multitask (Preactor Solution Provider) followed the process closely to ensure the successful implementation.  According to Bruno Manoel, Tooling Machining Chief, it ‘was a very interesting process because we had to create highly intelligent, practical and reliable solutions right now. That's when I felt that PPI-Multitask were not just selling a piece of software. They have looked after us about the problems until they were resolved, ensuring successful implementation’.

The Preactor implementation has changed Bosch routines, especially in the planning side: the production orders generated by the ERP system started to be indexed and cross by Preactor, resulting in a sequencing of process-dependent  types of orders, which ensures that they are not scheduled until all the necessary materials are available.

Bruno points out that ‘we are actually using Preactor in full and beyond, evaluating people vacations, when they can do training, [...]. So really it becomes a tool for us very important in terms of planning’.

In addition, the solution implemented has given more security in committing to deadlines, which was much more unpredictable.

The OTD (on time delivery) indicator at the Tooling area was, on average, 35%, i.e. only about 35% of production orders were completed and delivered on time.
Since August 2014 when Preactor went live, the average is 94% on-time delivery, indicating a great precision in planning and scheduling.

After evaluating the results obtained with Preactor, Bosch intends to extend the use of the solution to other units and recognizes the software's ability to change the way to work and deliver results.