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Flexibility the Key to Multi-Site Packaging Company’s Scheduling Needs
December 2007

SCA Packaging NicolletSCA is a global consumer goods and paper company. They develop, produce and market personal care products, tissue, packaging solutions, publication papers and solid-wood products in more than 90 countries. In the packaging sector they offer containerboard and packaging solutions like transport packaging, protective packaging, consumer and point-of-sales packaging as well as services. Moreover, SCA is Europe’s second largest producer of containerboard with production taking place in more than 320 plants in some 30 countries.

Founded in 1933, the French family-owned company Nicollet quickly became a pioneer in the manufacture of corrugated packaging. Over the years, Nicollet developed specialist expertise in complete packaging solutions in many sectors, especially in luxury goods. Thus a reputation for quality and innovation was already established when, in 1999, Nicollet joined SCA.

SCA Packaging Nicollet offers production facilities, a research centre, and a professional organization unique in Europe – in the world of the consumer packaging sector.

SAC Packaging Nicollet wanted a planning and scheduling solution that covered four sites in France; Toury, Rochechouart, Neuville and Fegersheim. Each needed a local scheduling solution but because there were major elements of sub-contracting between them, each live schedule needed to be connected to the other.

Each site used the same ERP system but not all had the same capabilities in terms of equipment and expertise.  The main processes to manage were:-

  • Guillotine
  • Printing
  • Corrugation
  • Counter gluing
  • Constitution
  • Cut out
  • Decortication
  • Gluing
  • Shipping
Because of the sharing of capacity across the four sites the management of stock, work in progress and manpower was very difficult to achieve for maximum efficiency.  Delivery dates could only be calculated based on the capacity and constraints across all four sites and each plant had different scheduling requirements for each resource.  There were also some complex overlapping of tasks and delays between them.  The manual system in use could not cope with this complexity and re-scheduling due to changes in delivery requirements and capacity was not easily achieved.
 
SCA Packaging Nicollet chose Segula Conseil Industriel, one of the most experienced Preactor solution providers, to create the solution required using Preactor 400 APS. The main objectives were:-
  • to replace and improve the existing planning system;
  • to improve customer service levels;
  • to improve flow and identify bottlenecks;
  • to optimize equipment productivity;
  • to take into account all constraints in generating a schedule;
  • to be able to carry out ‘what if’ simulations;
  • to be able to publish schedules to support the communication between sites

SCA Packaging NicolletSCA’s project manager was asked why they chose Preactor.  “We sought a standard tool available in the market which could be integrated with our specific ERP, and which could be personalized to adapt to the specific requirements of the packaging manufacturing process and take into account the various constraints at each site. The flexibility and the personalization of Preactor were thus determining for the choice of the tool.  The other solutions quickly proved too rigid to enable us to simulate the extremely complex process which characterizes Packaging.

Segula’s Sylvain Carrouee commented on the application.  “The manufacture of packaging products such as that made by SCA Packaging Nicollet is very complex and requires not only very specific scheduling rules but also specific reports such as work to list by sub-section, workload synthesis, un-scheduled task lists with problem identification and so on.  It was a very successful project”.

The benefits achieved since the implementation include increased speed in the planning process, availability of reports/ratios, and better visibility of the forward load.