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Preactor and Factory Viewer Get Seal Of Approval From Hoerbiger
Thursday, March 8, 2012
APS, MES and ERP prove enabling technologies for Lean Manufacturing

The Preactor Group, a leading provider of Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solutions for over 18 years, today announced an impressive range of business performance benefits at the Pompano Beach manufacturing facility of Hoerbiger. In addition to complete, real time visibility and improved strategic and tactical decision making, Hoerbiger has seen an increase in productivity of over 20% without increase in human or plant resources.

From humble origins in 1894 Vienna, Hoerbiger has grown to become a leading player in the fields of compression technology, automation technology and drive technology employing a global workforce of 7,600 and achieving sales of 950 million euro. Paul Mittendorff is Director of Manufacturing Systems at the Pompano Beach site and he outlines why accurate planning and scheduling is so critical to the company. “In school 92% success is considered grade ‘A’ – in our business 99% is considered a Fail. Success therefore requires complete visibility of not just what order is where, but whether each order including all of its sub-components is on schedule or not.”

Prior to investing in Preactor the company was reliant on its Materials Resource Planning (MRP) system for detailed planning and scheduling but the sheer scale of handling an average of 1000 live work orders on the shop at any time, each of which can have up to 10 components requiring 10 operations, made this impossible. Mittendorff recognized the lack of visibility of the plan and the inability to update it could be resolved by a dedicated, powerful yet flexible APS solution running in conjunction with an agile MES system. Working with Florida based Lean Scheduling International (LSI), a leading North American Preactor partner, a highly successful test was carried out in a small production cell which saw the cell’s late list reduced from 30 pages to zero. 

This was followed by a year of unsuccessfully investigating a more manual pull approach to Lean Manufacturing after which LSI was once again brought in to help. Even looking from a systemic viewpoint, the benefits are clear. Hoerbiger now has complete, real-time visibility of what order is where, and whether the actual schedule is in line with demand. Mittendorff says, “In addition to information, what Preactor and Factory Viewer also give us are options. We can see very clearly how product mix affects our capacity and we can make short and long term decisions to stretch our capacity in areas that would yield the best  results for us to be on time to our customers.” As a result of better prioritizing and sequencing of jobs on the schedule, Hoerbiger has seen an increase in productivity of over 20% without increases in human or plant resources.

Preactor CEO Mike Novels comments on the successful implementation. “Hoerbiger is a classic example of a manufacturer than has a genuine need to be Lean but can only best achieve this with the right combination of manufacturing IT. In this case the combination of Preactor APS, Factory Viewer MES and SAP ERP now all work seamlessly to enable Hoerbiger to meet not just its current business challenges but also those of the future.

About Lean Scheduling International
Lean Scheduling International (LSI) was formed to provide products and services to manufacturers who want to implement APS software solutions to become faster, smarter and leaner. Senior partners Mike Liddell and Dan Hahn have over 30 years dedicated exclusively to helping manufacturers develop and implement APS solutions. With offices in Bradenton Florida and Slovenia and a network of partners in 67 countries, LSI is strategically positioned to address your needs locally or internationally.