Solution for the Five Problems of the Material Industry

Material Industry Solutions

In a very fast-paced and yet prolific business like the material industry, it is always inevitable to find troublesome ordeals in the aspects of product quality, due dates and deadlines, costs and profits, tank facilities, and globalization. However, like in other industries, Asprova offers relief—and in this case, Visualization is the primary cure.

With the expiry dates of in-progress goods, manufacturers in this industry face an interminable speed requirement. At the same time, there is a need to keep the products’ quality in check. Clearly, an effective schedule should be made. In response to these issues, Efficient Load Adjustment, an element hailing under the umbrella of Asprova’s Visualization features, takes the lead. With this, you can carefully adjust all the factors that would always keep the big Q in quality in check.

As products pass the in-progress state, the due dates and deadlines draw nearer. This issue can easily be solved be referring to the Gantt chart—another outstanding feature of Asprova.

With regards to the Costs and Profits (C&P) section, the solution is simple—once again: Visualize! If this would be done right, the C&P data can easily be digested and put to good use.

Facility maintenance should never be neglected. Efficient allocation plans can take care of Tank Facilities. By giving them a load that is justifiable, less maintenance would be needed and money would once again be saved, thanks to Asprova’s Visualization.

Lastly, in this industry, close coordination with foreign factories is hardly maintained. Therefore, Asprova incorporated Japanese, English, Chinese (Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese), Korean, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai in its interface. Because of this, communication between different personnel from different plants is made easy.

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Results of Integrating Asprova with ERP

pentelA Japan-based manufacturer, that has been a subscriber to Asprova Production Scheduler for 10 years, thought that they needed to replace Asprova with SAP. This is all due to the fact that other factories had been using SAP, and it was becoming a trend. To keep up with others, the company decided that they should replace their Asprova with SAP/R3. However, this did not happen.

Why?

The company found out that SAP/R3 cannot fully replace Asprova. This is because the scheduling function of Asprova continues to be a big asset to the company – you can try it out too for free. And because of its flexibility, Asprova can be used hand in hand with SAP/R3. With some tweaks, the company found out about a way to use Asprova together with SAP/R3.

How is this possible?

In production scheduling, Asprova was utilized because of its speed and accuracy. Plans created by Asprova are returned to SAP and SAP creates and issues instructions to each production sites.

As a result, they were able to dramatically decrease their inventory—unshipped items are decreased by 1/4~1/2. The accuracy of orders’ due dates went up to 97~98%! The Information Systems officer interviewed by Asprova claimed that “Optimal scheduling brings satisfaction to our clients”.

Asprova’s scheduling capacity remains undisputed. If you’re thinking of replacing Asprova, you should think twice before you do it because you might be able integrate it with the product that you want to use, for example, ERP. And, with proper systemization, you will be able to achieve outstanding results.

BTO and the Need for High Level Scheduling

Kobayashi Create

Prescale Film

Manufacturing recording papers is the specialty of this featured BTO Japanese company. Due to the innovations brought about by Information Technology and the digitalization of printing, the pressure to supply complete solutions to respond speedily to market demand increased. This made communication between different departments an important issue that should not be overlooked. To realize seamless communication and to quickly respond to customers’ needs, the production management of this company decided to set up a collective management system. However, their scheduler at that time was unable to adapt to the integrated system that they wanted. This led them to find another scheduler that actually can.

A flawless connection

To simultaneously take a lot of factors into consideration and keep delivery dates in check, an advanced scheduler was needed. Asprova is widely known throughout Japan and the company immediately called for its help. By utilizing this Finite Capacity Scheduling software, making optimized production plans became an easy task. With its help, they were able to connect to the ERP they used and it became possible to reduce lead times substantially. “The existing scheduler was not able to connect systems and to create an overall optimized schedule. One reason for selecting Asprova was that it can flexibly be connected to peripheral systems. This made it possible to improve same day delivery responses from 20% to 80%,” says the production management team members.

Progress visualization

To monitor the progress of the production, the scheduling managers used Asprova MES. This greatly reduced the number of inquiries from other divisions as it made the progress available for every department.

After the success of the company in integrating Asprova to their system, the company plans to use Asprova on their other businesses. This company placed their trust on our production scheduler. It’s time for you to discover why!

 

Combination of Automatic Scheduling and Manual Adjustment

There is a saying that goes: “before we point at others, we must first look at a mirror.” The quote implies that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you would see your own flaws. If you seize this moment constructively, and as an opportunity to reflect on what you see, you will attain self-improvement. In a professional setting, a term called SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis has the same idea as the premise of this paragraph—analyzing your flaws, and improving upon it. Using this as our guide, we can now examine how the Taiwan-based company achieved this 110 million New Taiwan Dollars (NTD) increase in their savings. For this article, we’ll focus on S, W, and O.

Strengths

The company was growing rapidly. They were able make a name for themselves through the development of high-quality tires and production of UHP, SUV, LTR, PCR, and other series tires. They were becoming a big-shot in the tire industry; however, they noticed that production efficiency was not maximized.

Weaknesses

Before we can increase our profit, we must first look at what’s holding us back—this might be the idea that came to the minds of the consulting department manager and the production planner when they initiated the plan to improve. There were two key areas that needed attention:

  • Using Excel for production plans—this is a weakness because Excel could not consider current sales information nor inventory levels. This made Synchronization difficult and affected company profits.
  • The inability to respond to an increasing number of small and diverse orders, rush orders, and frequent order changes. It became impossible for them to update the plan manually and in time. This led to late deliveries and an inefficient allocation of production capacity.

Opportunities

After finding out about their flaws, they had a chance to improve upon it. They searched for a production scheduler, and after a series of evaluation, they found the perfect partner—Asprova. Because of its known abilities in scheduling, the company was able to overcome their weaknesses and turn it into strengths. Objectively speaking, the percentage of products delivered directly without having been stored, increased from 45% to 85%; this lead to savings of 50 million NTD per year. Lastly, inventory turnover was reduced from 20 to 15 days contributing another 60 million NTD per year.

Do you find it hard to manually schedule rush orders and never-ending order changes? There’s still hope, let us help you make your company more profitable and your job a lot easier. You can start with this free trial version of Asprova so you can evaluate. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lead time reduction: what are its effects?

Reducing Lead Time

Lead time reduction, was previously discussed in the article Lead Time Reduction and the Limits of MRP published under the umbrella of Production Scheduling Lessons in this site. It is generally known as reducing the latency (or delay) between the initiation and execution of a process. This is a very important feat in production.

A world renowned manufacturer, who launched the first facsimiles for office use,  that was in the expanding phase in their sales, experienced an increase in the high- mix and low-volume production. As demand increases, the need for production processes goes up along with it. The company needed to increase their machines and make production more efficient. They needed a production scheduler to make the processes smoother, and they called for Asprova.

To be more efficient in production, they needed to reduce lead time. If a company needs to reduce inventory, it would be better if they would rather reduce lead time than directly reducing inventory itself. Asprova gave them just the help they needed.

After implementation of this production scheduler, they were able to witness a great reduction in lead time—it was actually cut in half. WIP (Work-in-process) inventory was also reduced by 50%. They improved the efficiency of the whole production process. They even experienced a reduction in delivery delay.

What are the Benefits of Synchronizing Sales Production Orders?

Manual Scheduling

We’re now going to focus on an international company which does Make-To-Stock (MTS) manufacturing. This company is known for supplying disks to aircraft engines. Like other companies, this one had problems in scheduling because of their manual approach. This often caused delay in production operations. They also had to respond to frequent order changes.

The company needed a high-speed production scheduling tool that can function well in a fast-paced production environment—and also promise results. They tried a lot of schedulers to solve this issue before, but among all the production schedulers they tried, there was  one who could perform better than others.

It was Asprova.

Synchronizing Sales and Production Orders

According to the manager of this company’s production department, they chose this production scheduling software because it has large parameters that can be assigned by the user. “There are particular conditions and requirements here that are unique to us. Asprova’s flexibility fills the bill in that regard,” he adds.

The software helped the company synchronize their sales orders as well as their production orders. With Asprova, they were able to attain a uniform production planning and created precise production plans. Another noticeable achievement after the installation of Asprova is the automation of the previously manual scheduling operations.

Production Scheduling Software: In-house VS Standard Packaged

Quick Response

Consumers look for certain traits in their service and/or product providers. Two of the many things that customers assess in manufacturers are these: a swift product delivery and a fast response to their orders or order changes. These have been continuing to stand as a firm production standard and have also taught as a management concept known to many as Quick Response (QR).

QR is a management concept created to increase consumer satisfaction and survive increasing competition from new competitors. It intends to shorten the lead time from receiving an order to delivery of the products and increase the cash flow.

Asprova, the product that aims to apply the QR concept on its clients has certainly proven itself to a well known international company that produces heavy electric machinery systems, industrial mecha-tronics, information and telecommunications systems, electronic devices, manufacturing and sales of home electric appliances, and more.

Production Scheduling

According to the company, even though they have developed their own in-house scheduler, it required a great deal of troublesome work in establishing a system. Scheduling took a long time when it is applied to actual use. In order to solve such problems, they considered the introduction of the packaged solution—Asprova.

The previous in-house made scheduling software is very simple but it was also very slow. When the company switched to Asprova, they experienced a shift from the 5-10 minutes scheduling to a 2 second scheduling. The scheduling implementation was reduced by 80% and drastically shortened the implementation overhead.

Also, one of the most notable improvements, the company said, is the fact that it enabled them to respond quickly and accurately to customer orders.