custom mes feature

Custom MES Cuts Costs, Reduces Risk, and Supports Mobile Workforce

Business Situation

Their existing Oracle manufacturing execution system (MES) leveraged legacy technology that was not extensible or scalable. With the technology reaching end-of-life, potential support issues were becoming a possibility.

In addition to the technology challenges, the legacy MES system had a complex user interface which was difficult to navigate and required a significant investment to train machine operators to use the system.

As the modern workforce in the mill environments evolves, the support technology needed to change. The new system needed to support the adaptive work system for resources and automation of the assets on the mill floor, laying the groundwork for a future Internet of Things (IoT) setup.

Our Solution

The manufacturer engaged us to design, develop, and implement a new, custom MES. Together, we built a cross-functional team with team members from both organizations and executed the project using an Agile approach.

Our Team:

  • Scrum Master
  • Business Analysts
  • User Interface Designer
  • Tech Lead
  • Software Engineers
  • BI Engineer
  • Performance Architect
  • Quality Assurance

Manufacturing Client:

  • Product Owner
  • Business Analyst
  • Software Engineers

Team members from the mills were engaged throughout the project and were included in all sprint demos. At the end of each demo, team members were given “homework” to use the app outside of the demo and then provided feedback to improve the final deliverable.

Pilots

To ensure success, two pilots were executed, running the new application in parallel with the existing MES.

Training

At each of the mills, we provided training prior to each shift, followed by personal support for each of the machine operators. Training manuals and videos were provided.

Application Architecture

The application was architected with the ability to run from one remote server or in a distributed manner with infrastructure at each facility to minimize risk of downtime.

Business Intelligence

Data from the application was combined with data from other external systems into the existing data warehouse. Reporting was also provided.

The Results

On Time and On Budget

The project was delivered in 33 weeks, with us contributing more than 20,000 hours to the project from kick-off to final deployment.

Cost Savings

$200,000 in legacy MES support and maintenance fees were eliminated, in addition to reducing overall labor and inventory costs.

Extensible System Integration

All three WMS platforms (SAP, JDA, DLX) are integrated with the new system, allowing for directed work of material delivery just in time. Support for additional WMS platforms can be added with minimal effort.

Simplification of User Interface

Training costs have been reduced to near zero due to the effectiveness of the new user interface.

Better Integration with ERP Solution

The new system delivers clarity of data from ERP and devices.

Mobile Workforce Support

The new application was designed to support PC and tablet users with forethought put into providing accessibility for the modern, mobile mill worker to create an augmented reality setup.

Risk Reduction

Retiring the legacy technology reduced organizational risk by removing the risks associated to running the legacy MES.

About the Client

This manufacturer is one of the world’s leading makers of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. In construction, they are recognized for their engineered lumber products, gypsum panels and other quality building materials. They are also active in aerospace and mining of facilities management.

Technologies Used

ASP.NET 4.5

ASP.NET MVC 5 & Web API 2

Angular 1.2

Bootstrap 3

Entity Framework 6.0

SQL Server 2012

SSIS, SSRS, SSAS

Services & Scheduled Tasks

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