Global Case Study

Opcenter (Preactor) APS

Air Liquide Medical Systems

Healthy logistics at Air Liquide Medical Systems

Air Liquide Medical Systems is a subsidiary of the Air Liquide Group, world leader in supplying gases for industry, health, and the environment. For more than 35 years, Air Liquide Medical Systems have been designing, manufactured, and marketed a complete and innovative range of medical devices such as respirators used in emergency transport, resuscitation, and anesthesia for patients, as well as high and low pressure devices for the distribution and the administration of medical gases to the hospitals.

Air Liquide Medical Systems markets its products in more than 90 countries. 

Its production plants are located on 3 sites in France, Italy, and India.

Antony’s site assembles respirators, anesthetic equipment and devices for medical gases. Two workshops produce two types of equipment, one being devices for medical gases and the other being hand respirators and stations of anesthesia. Time cycle are very different according to the department.

Each manages approximately 400 finished products. Components are delivered to every line via a system of automatic trays. Staff may be qualified, general-purpose and authorized on one or several products.

Olivier Domanico, Supply Chain Manager, tells us what the logisticis team did before the implementation of Preactor:

“Each day the team did a manual count of the stock status. At the time, we had an interface between our ERP and a spreadsheet to get the  firm customer orders, but the forecasts were manually entered because this was developed in another system. We then had to made a series of manual checks on components and orders.  We had no tool to simply display figures in columns.”

The need to be equipped with an APS tool was clear and a project was started to review requirements. A model was selected where data from their ERP would flow into Preactor.

“We have selected Preactor for several reasons,” adds Olivier Domanico. “The most important point was the possibility to have a visual, capable tool to provide information to several locations with the main objective to be able to create a schedule which gave us increased customer service while decreasing stock levels.”

Every night, the ERP system sends information to the GMPS (Opcenter AP) planning module, which works in a automatic way and generates proposals of work orders and purchase orders for suppliers.  This data is then passed to the scheduling (Opcenter AS) solution which updates the schedule in every opening and goes back up the distances with the previous schedule.

Once a week, Olivier Domanico gathers the foremen, the logistics person in charge, and the person in charge of sales administration around Preactor, to bring the last adjustments to the schedule and validate it.

The weekly schedule is then distributed to the operators, but leaves them a certain amount of autonomy in their work.

In the configuration of Preactor, production lines were defined as primary resources, and the operators as secondary resources. To take into account the capabilities and authorizations of the operators, a matrix of skills was created.

Preactor is, at the moment, the only tool used by the logistics department to place the orders with the suppliers. It is a collaborative, shared, and accessible tool by all to organize the firm and projected orders, to produce as much as possible.

The tool was implemented in production in only 4 months.

The first major benefit was to be able to display the schedule in the form of Gantt chart. With more time available, the logistics staff was able to interact quickly with workshops, which gave a second undeniable benefit.

With Preactor, the logistics staff also has access to the data and to the calculations of the whole team, which helps when one of them is absent.

Immediate results showed that Preactor increased the rate of customer service of about 8 points. The operators also noticed a reduction in breaks in production.

The teams are going to continue to collect more data and measure the advantages of the Preactor system.

Olivier Domanico added,  “We intend to give to the commercial team access to the schedule in Viewer mode.  The sales force can then follow more easily the progress of their customer orders.”

New lines are going to be modeled in Preactor.  “We also asked Preactor for a customization of the GMPS (Opcenter AP). On certain key components, we wish to have a choice between several suppliers. The GMPS solution will be able to suggest which one to use based on history and the volume of orders already placed.”

Opcenter (Preactor) Advanced Planning
• What to make • When to make it • How much to make • Where to make it • Required materials & resources
Opcenter (Preactor) Advanced Scheduling
• How best to make it • Sequencing • Synchronization • Priorities, constraints, & conflicts • Monitor execution & change
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