Sonoco - Case study

Implement PRECATOR APS in Sonoco Poland

The fully planned development

The Polish branch of the international company Sonoco, a manufacturer of plastic and paper packaging, had a requirement to organize and accelerate the production planning process for all lines in production. The company has decided to introduce an advanced solution for production scheduling-Practor APS, provided by DSR.

Sonoco is a global producer of packaging, consumer goods and industrial packaging and packaging service. The American company operates in 35 countries.  It produces packaging for various industries and many recognised brands, serving customers in 85 countries. Sonoco Poland Packaging Service Sp. z o.o. employs more than 1000 employees.  In 2005 the company launched a new production facility located in the complex of Lodz Economic Zone.

Insufficient sheets

The plant has 60 production lines with varying levels of automation. The company’s priority was to achieve the highest productivity with the maximum use of the potential of theirs machines. What was important was the degree of utilisation of the machine and any stoppage time. The company is a subject to constant change, which also requires a dynamic production scheduling. Before the implementation of Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor), planning process was carried out on a weekly basis. Every Wednesday the company received customer orders for next week. Before Friday, the planning team worked on the production schedule in MS Excel, supporting with information from MRP.

The weekly cycle proved to be insufficient to meet market expectation. For a significant part of index, the team had to go to plan daily on the basis of information received by 10 a.m. on a previous day. In addition, to daily plans were introduce changes during the working day. For other indexes continue to exist weekly schedule. The desire to seek tools  for advanced production scheduling was the necessary to combine two plans, a large number of dynamic changes during the production and frequent changes of priority orders.

Discussion of the opportunities to conduct this scale of operations planning using spreadsheets led to the decision to purchase specialised software.

Tailored Solution

The main reason for the decision to implement Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor) was the need to move to plan daily for a large part of the schedule. The system generates a production schedule taking into account the date and the availability of materials and the production capacity of individuals stocks. When creating the schedule ,the availability calendars of employees ( the management system of their availability –holidays, etc.) with division of their skills are taken into account. In the case of deficiencies in material, the system informs us about the required delivery dates of components/ raw materials. The schedule is  generated according to established criteria, which include:

  • Timeliness of the project
  • Priority of the project
  • Workload of the project

In addition, the anticipated load for each individual resource, resource group and production areas     (departments) is performed, as well as the analysis of the timing of individual projects and creating a to-do  list for each resources.

Automation and optimization

Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor) was chosen based on the knowledge of the local partner, DSR company and a complete  interface for QAD ERP system. The ability to take into account the restrictions in the planning process was also a consideration. Equally important was a function for the distribution of production orders in the event of partial non-receipt of the raw materials for the order. Thanks to the implementation of Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor), Sonocno Poland Packaging Services Sp. Z o.o. accelerated the process of scheduling production and gained the ability to quickly make changes as required.  

– The implemented solution is fully integrated with the existing ERP system in the company, so the process of scheduling is automatic, and very precise, because it takes into account all of the production processes  – provides  Dariusz Lewko, Chief Consultants at DSR.

– Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor) integrates the communication between all departments in the company. The result is flawless and timely production plans  – says Lassaad Tounsi, IT & Business System Manager, Sonoco Poland.