Improving efficiency in production in the sector of luxury home furnishing
The company works production-to-order and produces luxury furnishings for the boating industry. The solution was implemented in 2 factories.
Implementing an IT system to achieve a significant improvement in the management of the production process in order to increase the operating efficiency
The company adopts the following production process to create custom furniture:
During the preliminary analysis we focused on some critical aspects of the production process. For instance, there were excessive waiting times for both the execution of the manufacturing actions, due to the lack of information about the actions to be performed and the resolution of unforeseen situations in each department.
A lack of information on the real state of the orders has also been identified making it impossible to check the compatibility between the actual state of the work and the dates of delivery and to intervene appropriately in case of blocks, suspension and variation of delivery.
Normally carrying out orders requires the processing and assembly of a large number of components (from 2,000 up to about 10,000 elements). This is why knowing the location and the real availability of each component can be extremely difficult.
An analysis conducted on the steps of planning and allocating the resources found several inconsistencies between the information in possession of each department involved in the production process: sales, design, purchase, production.
The adopted solution
According to the information gained through the analytic process we decided to implement a MES solution (Manufacturing Execution System) based on jpiano®, a software platform designed and developed by AEC Soluzioni srl in its Turin laboratories. This solution helps to acquire and store in a single and centralized production database all the information you need to know the progress of every single order and to plan more quickly and accurately all the related activities.
Automatic creation of technical data
The main problem came from the management of the technical data of each specific order (workflows and bills of materials),because great amounts of continuously updated data had to be managed. It was therefore decided to automatically generate cycles and order bills acquiring information directly from the project drafted by the technical department.
Search for inconsistent data
To identify and eliminate any discrepancy between the information provided by the technical department and the information in possession of the sales department, it was decided to develop a procedure that performed an automatic synchronization between the information coming from the two departments. Any inconsistencies arising after such control are notified instantly to the concerned department.
To ensure the availability of each wood component needed for each workflow we have implemented a further synchronization between the items suggested by the designer and those included in each cutting process.
Creation an automatic back-up of the production plan
Disposing of reliable technical data and the sales orders, jpiano® can create a production plan taking into account any updates in real time.
The “presence” of a given component in a specific plant leads to the update of the production stage of each item and updates the overall status of the order. This presence makes the item “workable” in the following stage.
This is how you can always know the actual location of each component and all the information on the work (plants, operators, dates, batches of raw material, waiting times, processing times, etc.). These data are particularly useful since the materials can be worked on by different factories and subcontractors.
In order shorten the waiting times related to the yet-to-be-carried-out activities a new functionality has been added for programming and allocating the workers who have to support their heads-of-department in the planning of production (particularly in critical centers such as assembly, where specific skills are required). Moreover, the detected production times are used for the determination of cycle times to be used in the programming steps. Any downtime is reported with absolute precision.
Added value of the implemented solution
jpiano® has lead the company to know in real time the progress of each order. Constant monitoring and real-time data from departments allowed to quickly acquire information on any non-compliance or unforeseen situations such as stop / block machine, to perform rework, waste, carrying out of non-productive actions: these are the factors that in the long term may affect production efficiency.
he carrying out of reliable automated procedures, the support of jpiano® to programming and execution of production activities and the elimination of many “manual” procedures have decreased unproductive waiting times and enabled a considerable saving of time both in terms of manpower and back-office tasks.
Moreover, thanks to the adopted identification devices, we have gained greater skills in identifying the status and location of each component, reducing time, costs and mistakes…!
Finally, the availability of real-time information has minimized the need of printing files to share between back offices, so to save paper and toner and help the environment.