Valmont,international is a leader In the production of steel, services for infrastructure and irrigation equipment for agriculture. They decided to implement the Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor) system to support the process of advanced production scheduling. The installation of the system was dictated by rapid expansion in Poland and the need to organise the production planning process. The implementation project was conducted by DSR.
Valmont Poland was established in 1994 as a joint venture between Valmont Industries Inc. and Mostostal Siedlce SA. The profile of the production facility in Poland includes a modern steel lighting mast, poles and structures that support tram traction. Also produced are electricity pylons and telecommunication towers.
The company operates in a very competitive environment and therefore a particular goal was to shorten the response time to the customer and to define precisely the delivery date of the order. The company offers a full portfolio of products carried on the “designed-to-order” model , adjusting the contract to fulfil the needs and specifications of the customer. This is also associated with the need to confirm the date of final implementation. Among the main objectives of the project to introduce the application for producing planning and scheduling Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor). Company executives also required an efficient and transparent view of the effects of changes in the production plan.
– Valmont has a very flexible response to the needs of specific customer orders. Tracking the consequences of any changes in the plan through a simulation of orders, shows us with the key of value of Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor). After 2 months, we obtained a clear view of the changes and achieved objectives in this area – emphasis Sebastian Borowik, Plant Director.
– On the need to improve the scheduling process and improving the implementation of the schedule, DSR has implemented a planning solution involving the use of “phantom routings”. It involves placing a virtual order into the production schedule, expanded with the use of phantom routings and placed in the schedule.The result is more precise information on the planned date of execution of the orders. As the result the sales department is able to give the customer accurate information on when it will receive the finished product – says Dariusz Lewko, Chief Consultant at DSR.
Another objective of the project was to reduce production lead time. The company management also pointed at an increase in production efficiency by optimising the number of changeovers.
– With better data visualisation, we have an easier method of accurately analysing our backlog. In this way, ahead of time we are responding to the demand and can better adept production capability to required orders– states Sebastian Borowik.
Before the implementation of Preactor, the company did not have a single system responsible for providing information for the entire company, including the technological department, procurement, production and sales. The departments now have an access to the reports generated by the program, which significantly simplifies and optimises the entire production process. Planning, therefore, takes into account not only the production part but also the administrative one. Workflow has been completely redesigned, which had a positive impact on the efficiency of the whole process .
– Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor) is not only a tool for production planning, but it gives also an opportunity to look at the whole organisation. Thus it helps in the selection of specific directions of business. We treat it as a management tool, allowing to make the right decisions. We see the chances for further development not only in the area of improving the precisions of production planning, but also other resources across the organisation- says Sebastian Borowik.
Current activity of the Valmont plant is supported by ERP QAD Enterprise Applications. DSR assured full cooperation Siemens Opcenter APS (d. Preactor)ASP to the ERP application creating the interface, allowing for the efficient transfer of data between the two applications. Consequently, it provided a smooth, seamless and efficient financial implementation of the project.
The company was well prepared to implement the system through describing the precise structure of the product BOM and process route. The implementation lasted approx. 4-5 months. The implementation process went very smoothly and did not involve the need for a large involvement of company employees. A quick business results were also influenced by the system being intuitive, easy to service and the ability to quickly learn without the need for lengthy training.