At Contour we work digital to keep track of the 85.000 production operations which are scheduled each year. Using tablets and wireless barcode scanners, the progress of each production order and purchase receipt is logged. Using this data, we can easily locate products in our warehouses and production processes.
Every department is equipped with tailor made real-time dashboards. These are big flat screens on which all the operation steps which need to be finished are showed. The dashboards are tailored to the specific needs of each department. For instance, at the powder coating lines, the colors are visually displayed in the work order list. In the bending department, the dashboard shows for which exact press brakes CNC programs are available.
When we need to expedite an order, our planner can instantly highlight the relevant work orders on all dashboards throughout our factory. These orders are then sorted first, and are marked with a special color. Every department then knows which operation to schedule next.
If a planned work order operation cannot be started, the reason is displayed on the dashboard. For instance when a required material is unavailable, or a previous operation has not been finished yet. This way we can quickly see what needs to be arranged for the work orders to be executed according to schedule.
In order to achieve a high quality level with a highly variable product mix, all part structures, materials and operations are defined in our ERP system.
PLANNING AND FORECASTING
Both purchase orders and customer forecasts are registered in our ERP system. We translate this data to a full production planning (MPS). We can easily see which planned orders are based on forecasting and which are based on actual orders. We control our work load planning, by combining the MPS with our employee competence matrix and a vacation/holiday schedules. This helps us to identify bottle necks before they become a problem, and improves our supply chain reliability.
Because we’re integrated in the forecasting and ERP systems of our customers, we can make a proactive contribution in the supply chain. We for instance will contact our customer when we signal a forecast which needs to be converted to a purchase order in order to meet the delivery date.
Because we’re integrated in the forecasting and ERP systems of our customers, we can make a proactive contribution in the supply chain.
SHOP FLOOR CONTROL
We developed a shop floor control app in order to simplify and improve the recording of order progress and inventory levels as much as we can. Production orders can be marked as finished, material usage can be booked, and inventory movements can be logged in real-time.
The philosophy behind the app is simple. Our employees should focus on production. The administration around it, should be simplified as much as possible. The idea should be ‘next, next, next’, with as most data already pre-filled in forms. If our ERP system already has planning data available about which deliveries are expected; then an employee should be able to simply select the received order lines in accordance with planning. The expected delivery should already be sorted at the top of the list.