Asprova Fine Planning System - Usage Report from Georg Jordan GmbH
"I cannot imagine planning without Asprova anymore."
Bernd Wacker, Head of IT
The Georg Jordan GmbH, a traditional medium-sized
company based in Siegburg
and a subsidiary in Malaysia, is an
international manufacturer of insulators and
insulating fittings for the electrical and rail industry with
a total of 380 employees at both locations.
More info at: www.georg-jordan.de/en
Electrical insulators – with a total of around 2000 different product variants.
There are two types of production processes, namely the vacuum process for small quantities (lot size 1-250; manual processing) or special isolators and the pressure gelation process for large scale production.
Problems (before the introduction of Asprova):
- From the late 60s until 2 years ago the planning was manually performed by an employee. The planning method was absolutely employee dependent and not standardized.
- The availability of shapes, cavities, machinery, employees and different routes are not manageable for the people.
- The synchronization of processes was no longer possible due to the increased number and variety of orders.
- As many orders as possible were started in the first Process (pressure gelling area), creating push production - without consideration of the capacity of downstream bottleneck points, in particular in the mechanical manufacturing.
- Many semi-finished products were stored in the aisles (high capital commitment).
- The processing times were very long due to high stagnation periods.
- The problem with raw material availability: Due to inaccurate scheduling, there were large inventories of expensive core parts on one hand, while often missing parts on the other.
Challenges / Complexity in Planning:
Pressure Gelling Process (30 machines):
- Each article can be processed on alternative and prioritized machines. The disposition of an order to a suitable and available machine is difficult.
- On account of standardisation, the pressure gelling forms are identical at some points and are only available in limited numbers (1-3). When planning the pressure gelling process, a 4-stage finite-capacity must be taken into account, namely: Pressure gelling machines, shapes, cavities, as well as employees.
- The processing times are very different depending on the shape.
- Pressure gelling machines have long set-up times (4-8 hours), which are dependent on the forms.
- During the opening time of the pressure gelling machine, the operator must refer the finished part, clean the mold, assemble the head and foot plates and insert new core parts. This processing time must be considered.
- Maintenance intervals and the resulting unavailability of pressure gelling forms must also be considered.
- The curing time is different for each product.
Vacuum casting process (4 manual production lines):
- Many of the above challenges also apply to the field of vacuum process
- Synchronization of vacuum casting processes and subsequent post-processes, which are different for each product.
- When planning the vacuum casting process, a 3-stage finite-capacity is taken into account, namely: the vacuum casting job, employees, forms.
- Due to the increased workload in the post-processing of vacuum castings over pressured gel parts, this post-process must be taken into account more when planning.
Heat treatment in the oven (20 ovens):
- Only pressure gel parts that have cured until 4:00 pm, are put into the annealing oven and are ready for further processing on the next morning at 6:00 am.
Prioritization of orders:
- Warehouse orders of popular catalog products have a low priority. Customer orders have a higher priority.
The Solution with Asprova:
All above-mentioned process and planning restrictions are displayed in Asprova through parameterization (without programming) and are solved.
- The bottleneck process (mechanical production) determines the timing for foregoing sites and determines the starting time for the pressure gelling- and vacuum casting processes.
- Asprova allows finite-capacity-planning for all required resources (main and sub-resources: machines, molds, cavities, devices, employees).
- The necessary maintenance times of machines and molds are automatically integrated into the planning - with its logic, duration of maintenance and capacity of service staff.
- Asprova consideres necessary buffer times for all resources and products.
- Asprova connected to the ERP system:
- - Orders, work plans and stocks are managed in the ERP system and imported to Asprova.
- - In addition, process and planning restrictions are parameterized, which is essential for consistent planning, but can not be represented in the ERP.
- Asprova connected to the BDE / MDE system:
- - Results from the automated pressure gelling machines are imported to Asprova.
- - At the end of a shift, other manual procedures are booked in the PDA system and automatically imported to Asprova.
- The result of production is thus mappable "near real time".
- Asprova plans dynamically: the plans are updated every day, with delays - for example by disturbances of the manufacturing processes - being taken into account.
- The planning method is completely automated.
- Asprova produces a detailed sequence diagram for each individual resource.
- The material provision of up to 4000 casting parts (core parts) is performed in Asprova.
- Reliable information about delivery
- Delivery performance is significantly higher
- Reduction of inventory by 40-50%
- Drastic reduction of production lead time
- Effizienzsteigerung aller Ressourcen
- Simulation of all existing and planned orders is possible / Simulation of past, current and future orders is possible in any arbitrary logics and views.
- Identification of bottlenecks through visualization and various evaluations. The bottleneck sets the clock, thereby eliminating inter alia push operations.
- Early detection of potential problems is given by dynamic simulation.
- Preparation of detailed work orders (sequencing) for all resources is possible.
- Timely provision of forms
- Significant reduction in raw material stocks of high-quality core parts
- Increased space efficiency (free hallways)
- Prioritization of orders and resources
- Standardized planning method that is employee-independent
- Automated planning