New Release of Factivity MES Software Receives Rave Reviews

Excelda Manufacturing manager details time and paper savings

CLEVELAND (April 22, 2010) FACTIVITY Inc, a pioneer in the MES software field since 1998 recently installed a new release of its touch screen software product FACTIVITY data capture (templates) module at Brighton, Michigan’s Excelda Mfg. The company is a solution provider of private label consumer and automotive products, specializing in fluid blending, packaging, warehousing and order fulfillment services.

Within a few weeks of the installation, Process Engineer/Maintenance Manager, Sara Heilig contacted FACTIVITY with a very positive assessment. Ms. Heilig noted ease and success of both the integration of the production weigh scales with FACTIVITY and also with printing raw material return labels directly from the “Documents” button on the POD. Ms Heilig stated, “These two features alone have significantly reduced time and paper needed on our shop floor.”

She went on to list additional benefits including recording and monitoring efficiencies. Ms Heilig noted that Excelda’s previous system for recording and monitoring production weights for filled bottles was to hand record the weight of each individual bottle each hour, turn in the hand written sheet, key all data points into their SPC software program and chart/evaluate from there. She explained that when a question arose about a specific work order at a later date, paperwork needed to be located in a file. To compare several work orders for the same part required visual inspection of several printed sheets, not data manipulation and regraphing in a charting software. She comments, “This process was inefficient and not reflective of current technology.”

With the FACTIVITY installation, the scales are now connected to the software through user defined “templates”. One set of weights of individual bottles is sent each hour from the scales directly to the FACTIVITY computer. There is no time spent hand writing data points, no time to key in data as it is exported from FACTIVITY and imported into their SPC software. Charting is now done graphically at the computer on the line, enabling the company to view, react to and manage the process in real-time. Ms Heilig adds, “Any questions that arise at a later date can be answered quickly from any location by electronically looking up the record in FACTIVITY, rather than physically sorting through a filing cabinet. We can also easily export data from multiple work orders and manipulate and study the data from software such as Excel without manual data entry.”

Additionally, prior to automation via FACTIVITY, the material return labels were a laborious, hand-written process. The configuration of the ERP system and its related printers only allowed for printing pallet identification labels from a few locations, making it inefficient. The best-case process for this configuration was to hand-record item numbers and quantities for each item returning to the warehouse after a work order. This information was written twice (again due to the ERP system, not FACTIVITY). As changeovers are a big part Excelda’s business, this could result in a few hundred handwritten notes per day.

Now, using the work order’s material list in FACTIVITY, users can specify which items need a label, the quantity to be returned to storage for each material, and a lot number, if necessary. “This is exceedingly faster than our previous process, less effort is required and penmanship is never a factor,” Ms Heilig concludes.

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