Excelda Manufacturing Company (www.excelda.com) was founded in 1930 and has been servicing the automotive industry for over 73 years. Their Private Label Services and products have evolved over time and now span many industries including: automotive, agricultural, equine, household, industrial, travel and marine. Over the years Excelda’s core competencies have expanded and matured from specialized chemical blending and packaging to include high speed lubricant and chemical filling, aerosol packaging warehousing and distribution solutions. Excelda Manufacturing Company now employees more then 170 people at two plants.
Excelda Manufacturing is a progressive manufacturer who recognizes the need for innovation in both technology and management practices. So when they decided to implement Oracle, they also wanted to make technology changes to address their floor manufacturing process. While Oracle collected their costing data, such as materials used, how much, and for which order, Excelda wanted to streamline their pre-ERP production processes of handwriting all production data, job time, down time and materials in addition to the BOM, to be more accurate then human estimation could provide.
As the search began, the company quickly realized they could significantly leverage the benefits of the new system by adding shop floor control. A detailed review of the new system revealed critical gaps which would affect the ability of Excelda to keep producing product at their current levels. Additionally, it appeared labor collection would need to be added to continue to gather the same amount of data the company gathered prior to the new system.
An important consideration with installing the system was to make the shop floor as paperless as possible. This would reduce the labor associated with manually entering production data in a batch process and allow it to be automatically captured in a real-time fashion. “We were looking for a system that would enable us to streamline the floor, ‘do more with less,’ and what we were looking at was going to take us backward,” said Sara Heilig, Process Engineer for Excelda Manufacturing. The company needed a shop floor system that was fully integrated with Oracle, as well as it being real-time and streamlined if they were to meet their goal of reducing paper and labor.
Heilig continued, “We were looking for a solution to fill in the gaps of a large ERP system designed for materials planning and accounting. We needed something to streamline our day-to-day production floor activities: something flexible in the way a production floor needs to be flexible, something to reduce paper, to reduce the amount of data entry after-the-fact, to increase real-time awareness of down time so it could be addressed real-time, to record labor accurately, and to begin to automate collection of other production data such as bottle weights and torques.”
With only four months to get the job done, an easy to implement system was essential. The combination of Oracle, DSI’s dcLINK and Factivity gave Excelda what they were looking for. In fact, Sara commented, “Factivity was designed to collect all of the data used today on the production floor plus more. Factivity, out-of-the-box, was able to record cost data such as materials and specific labor used on a job, as well as uptime, downtime, reason codes to determine a cause and generate information for continuous improvement, efficiencies, real-time charting, weights, torques, and other production information as needed.”
“We were looking for a vendor with trustworthy knowledge of their product, solid follow-through skills, people we could depend on to see this through to the end and live up to the commitments of the project as well as live up to Excelda’s expectations. With Factivity we found people who were enthusiastic and as committed to the complete success of this project as we were.
“We had quoted modifications to another software package to create what we were looking for. That option turned out to be risky in that we may not have covered all of our functionality needs; it was also relatively expensive. It made better business sense to select an existing software package designed to do exactly what we wanted rather than to try to modify software that was designed for other uses.”
“Factivity was the program we wanted. Through the demonstrations, we knew that it handled the basics of what our process demanded and would provide us the tools to take our process to the next level.
After we completed a brief four day installation, setup and initial training, our comfort gave way to assured confidence.”
Sara also stated, “Additional functionality has been brought on-line since then, but we were ready to go-live with more capability than we could have designed in the modification we were attempting to make to the other program.”
When asked to quantify results they based it upon solid expectations:
- Office labor/data entry will be reduced by 50%
- There will be a 5% improvement in data accuracy. Accurate data improves decision making and is priceless.
- They believe when data becomes real-time and accurate, it will reduce down time and increase run efficiency by 3-5%.
- After a few months of live data, they will be able to evaluate setup time by item: a new metric to enable process improvement that was impossible in the past.
- Ease of use allows them to retain their existing workforce.
In addition to looking forward to their quantitative benefits, Excelda is already contemplating their next steps with Factivity.
- To begin collecting weight and torque data in Factivity, possibly through direct connection to the scales.
- Compiling report requests to submit to be written. The adjustments to the reports already exist in Factivity and will allow the company to use the data more easily with their processes.
- Excelda would like to use down time and setup data collected in Factivity to create predictive maintenance data for their planned and unplanned maintenance program.
- They are looking forward to begin researching a way to improve their scheduling process with Factivity’s capabilities!
Factivity meets Excelda Manufacturing’s long-term vision. It is the tool they needed to enable their production process to become nearly paperless, reduce redundancies, continue to improve efficiencies, and reduce waste, both labor and material.