Global Case Study
Opcenter (Preactor) APS
Textiles manufacturer implements Opcenter APS (Preactor) to identify bottlenecks and improve productivity
Operating for over 85 years in the identification market, HACO is recognized as the market leader in textiles labels and has an extensive portfolio of solutions that meet different market segments, exporting to over 30 countries. Currently, HACO has 6 factories, one in Portugal and the others spread throughout Brazil, and employs more than 2,000 employees.
In 2013, HACO decided to re-invest in Preactor, updating and improving its utilization. The first Preactor deployment at HACO was in 1999, but since then the company changed and the software usage became limited. The focus areas of the new project were the weaving and finishing operations at HACO’s headquarters in Blumenau/SC, as well as its graphical manufacturing unit in Massaranduba/SC. According to Gustavo Figueiredo, HACO’s Production Scheduler and key Preactor’s user, one of the greatest strengths of the software is the ease with which you can interact with and analyze the Gantt chart.
“Using it, we can see the factory schedule in very great detail, evaluating how critical characteristics of products interfere with production.”
The project lasted for 6 months, having no significant delays in its implementation. NEO (a Preactor reseller based in Porto Alegre, South of Brazil) added new features and improvements to the solution as part of HACO´s strategy to refine even more the quality of their production scheduling.
“NEO really looks at its customers as long term partners. It is remarkable that their technical competencies, academic background, and coherence combine so well when proposing solutions,” said Luciano Mondini, Operations Manager.
The solution runs completely integrated with Wintree, an ERP system specialized for the textile sector.
Gustavo explained the scheduling process routine. “First of all, we evaluate the capacity of each facility including headquarters and subsidiaries. Then the production orders are created by our ERP which then updates Preactor’s data according to what is really happening in each factory. It takes only 5 minutes per day. Based on the schedule analysis provided by Preactor, we have a short meeting, where points of attention are raised, like availability of resources and some other production issue, and decisions are made. We update this information in Preactor and execute an automatic scheduling, which runs rapidly and creates a very feasible plan.”
He adds, “Currently, all the features, rules, and constraints that interfere with production are configured in Preactor. The personalized scheduling rule developed to meet our needs generates, at once, a great scheduling plan. After this, it is up to the scheduler to scrutinize it and make small adjustments, deciding for example to prioritize even more setup time reductions or delivery dates for some resource group or set of orders.”
The Preactor solution was designed to generate several scenarios of production. This allows the company to make better decisions, considering level of service and maximum utilization of capacity. Dulce Bruns, Production Scheduling Manager, comments, “We have a huge number of constraints, primary resources, setup time matrices, number of employees per shifts, etc. and the biggest advantage of Preactor is how fast it generates the schedule using different scenarios. Our market is very competitive and dynamic and Preactor is a key factor in our business. With Preactor, we achieved an adherence greater than 95% of our released schedule and what were performed by the shop floor. This performance demonstrates the success of the deployment!”
The results already achieved are significant and measurable regarding setup time reduction, the production performance, and raising delivery promise accuracy. Luciano Mondini, Operations Manager states, “Preactor enables us to clearly see the dynamic bottlenecks of our process and work objectively for better use of resources.”
Gustavo Figueiredo again, “Before this project, the optimization of resources usage was very dependent on the ability of the Scheduler in order to balance customer requirements, setups, and delivery dates. It was something almost impossible to do manually considering our volume of orders and the number of resources. With the intelligent sequencing automatically generated based on the setup time matrices, we save up to one hour per day on each machine, an increment of 5% on our productivity. Thanks to Preactor, we can predict delivery promises much faster and accurately. For the future, we have planned a continuous improvement over the current solution and its expansion to other facilities.”
Luciano Mondini commented, “We want to expand the use of Preactor to all business units and subsidiaries of HACO. The goal is to connect all factories in a whole consolidated view, improving logistics processes and reducing the production bottlenecks.”