Factivity Distributes Low Cost Visual Manufacturing to Rittling

An extension of the basic FACTIVITY MES, gives engineers revision level control and operators complete visibility of all drawings

CLEVELAND (September 14, 2010) Rittling’s Hydro-Air Production facility, based in Western New York, produces advanced, reliable and efficient heating designs. Rittling’s engineers can custom build components for virtually any plan or architectural drawing, making Rittling the perfect fit for a wide variety of heating and cooling applications.

The Company prides itself on the ability to design and manufacture heavily customized terminal HVAC equipment, in some of the industry’s shortest lead-times.  This focus, a strategic must, requires a large amount of flexibility in manufacturing process and clear communication from the production support team.  Production engineering needs to effectively communicate with the factory floor operators to ensure that the proper drawings and CAD programs are referenced and assembly instructions are followed.

To accomplish this, “Hydro-Air turned to their ERP system, from QAD and the preferred QAD shop floor MES automation partner, FACTIVITY create an integrated visual manufacturing solution,” comments Andrew Lennartz, Chief Financial Officer.

With the Company’s rapid growth and heavily customized products came enormous challenges in providing direction to the manufacturing floor.  As years of drawings began to accumulate, revision control became a major concern with the amount of paper drawings released to the floor.  All of the inherent problems that exist in a paper system started to present throughout the manufacturing process.  Machine operators began to make unilateral decisions on the floor if they could not find the proper documentation; they began customizing programs themselves rather than wait for production engineering to provide them the necessary tools to meet production deadlines.  The time wasted and lack of process clarity began to adversely affect both the delivery performance as well as the production quality.

“Despite the excessive time and money being spent to produce and update production drawings and programs, we found ourselves struggling to keep up with ISO standards”, stated Lennartz.  “In addition, there was no formal process for manufacturing employees to provide feedback of outdated or incorrect drawings and programs, causing inaccurate documentation to linger in the production environment.”

Prior to the FACTIVITY visual manufacturing initiative Rittling had used FACTIVITY as a way of collecting shop floor labor and applying the labor to work orders.  The intuitive User Interface using a touch screen propriety FACTIVITY design simplified the factory floor data collection process allowing for a quick easily training of the operators.  Now, it is used to not only collect data, but to present drawings, detailed assembly instructions, and even automatically send CAM instructions to the production equipment.  FACTIVITY documents module out of the box will allow for documents to be associated with a parent item and presented at the workstation.

According to Oskar Schwarz, Senior Consultant at FACTIVITY, “It only required minor changes to our functionality using unplanned articles embedded in the product structures of the products dynamically link to the correct revision level drawings that can be presented on a large number of different PC monitors throughout the factory floor.”  This allowed Hydro-Air to distribute accurate drawings at a fraction of the standard license fee.  The operators are now only a touch away from the needed documents, drawings, and programs, at every workstation.   Engineering can make updates prior to work order release, and engineering change notices are reflected in real time to the shop floor.

This functionality is the logical progression of ERP solutions.  Operators need more than just a Bill of Material and a work order to manufacture quality product.  Prior to integrating drawings and programs the detailed work instructions of production have been historically detached from a company’s ERP system.  Hydro-Air used to maintain drawing information in paper copies or in the memory of operators.  Now there is one interface providing all of the necessary instruction and documentation.  This has allowed The Company to support a new growth strategy while still maintaining production flexibility and ensure a quality product is leaving the factory on time.

About Hydro-Air:

Hydro-Air is an operating unit of Rittling, is a multi-national, customer focused manufacturing company. Hydro-Air concentrates on the design and development of hydronic based heating and cooling products. Hydro-Air’s customers drive the organization from the outside in, defining their benchmarks of quality in unique, innovative design, competitive pricing, on-time delivery, service and consistently reliable relationships.

About QAD:

QAD is a leading provider of enterprise applications for global manufacturing companies specializing in automotive, consumer products, electronics, food and beverage, industrial and life science products. QAD applications provide critical functionality for managing manufacturing resources and operations within and beyond the enterprise, at the right cost and at the right time. For more information about QAD, telephone +1 805-566-6000, or visit the QAD web site at http://www.qad.com/erp.

About Factivity, Inc.:

FACTIVITY Inc. develops, implements and supports software products for manufacturing companies. The current focus of the company is on FACTIVITY, a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) with modules for APS Finite Scheduling, Time & Attendance, Shop Floor Management, Machine Monitoring and more. For more information on FACTIVITY, please call 1-800-369-6377 or visit the FACTIVITY web site at http://factivity.com.

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