MANAGEMENT Harmonizing production and logistics to achieve enhanced performance and maximum customer satisfaction: Sada Ondulati reaches these goals adopting RTS Sistemi management solutions.
Antonio Sada e Figli SpA (Pontecagnano, Salerno) is one of Made in Italy packaging’s major players. The far-sightedness with which Sada navigates the market, relying first of all on innovation and optimization, is also reflected in its internal management, which is oriented toward maximizing the efficiency of facilities, functions and equipment. Site manager Filippo D’Arminio illustrates this with a recent example by explaining the reasons and advantages of the concern’s latest investments involving production and logistics. The heart and vehicle of this change has been the implementation of two applications: Easy Stock and PcTopp, both provided by RTS Sistemi Informativi, the company’s long-time supplier of artificial intelligence solutions.
With what objectives did you decide to adopt RTS IT solutions?
In order to enhance the efficiency of our business processes and, as a consequence, customer satisfaction as well. The two most recently installed systems clearly show this. Easystock, for example, is a system for identifying the location of materials in the warehouse, as well as automatically managing delivery loads. It has enabled us to prevent, upstream, the possibility of packaging and delivery mishaps, saving time and effort and enhancing the quality of the traceability, storage and order dispatch processes.
What’s more, our employees are enthusiastic. The work has become less “mechanical”, and the operators are satisfied with the use of a tool that enables them to better organize and perform their various duties, even in a dynamic facility such as our warehouse, which is characterized by multiple shifts and constant activity.
How was Easystock implemented?
With no particular difficulty and to our satisfaction: thanks to Easystock we can better process tasks, optimize spaces and enjoy complete product traceability.
Basically, it has led us down a path that ultimately brought us to redefining the way we operate in a simple and immediate way, generating added value. After this initial phase, in fact, the balance is very positive: we are reaching greater levels of efficiency, to the customer’s benefit.
Have you re-organized your production management?
Two years ago we acquired the new web-based version of PcTopp, and today we have a state-of-the-art IT architecture, with which we perform complete production scheduling, management and data collection: ultimately, this has meant planning and controlling every process. PcTopp is so effective and precise that we even use it to track down the most detailed data, for example those used to determine yearly production prizes. But, most importantly, we are able to perform major operations automatically and without error, such as correlating an order’s initial estimate with its final balance. And with a bonus: the application’s interface is truly easy to use, even for the “computer illiterate”.
Did you have to face any major challenges?
No, all told it proved a simple process, even though, as we know, managing change is always a delicate thing. When you transform a system and a series of entrenched habits, people are always instinctively critical, when not downright hostile. Our “secret” was to introduce the innovation gradually and taking the necessary time to do so.
The results have been excellent: today the system manages the entire production area, and the operators are so satisfied with the new way of working that nobody would turn back.
Why should a concern that produces corrugated cardboard packaging adopt this type of solution? How would you summarize the benefits of these new management systems?
Because they carry the entire operation forward. More concretely, for example, they enable speedily carrying out operations concerning production and logistics in a detailed and precise manner, with the decisive help of a clear and appealing graphic interface.
Personally, the thing I appreciate the most is that when I print a schedule, even after months or years, with PcTopp I always get the same result.
In other words, with this software I can organize data in a univocal and constant manner, with a precision that I have never before seen in an analogous IT solution, and for my job this is truly important.
But the functions which we can now manage with incomparably greater performance are, in reality, many more… I would say all of them: shift scheduling management, managing data “from the field” and real time analysis of variations… Today, then, we have at our disposal a truly complete IT architecture, carrying enormous advantages.
Automating end of line
The EasyStock system by RTS organizes and manages operations of storing, picking and loading finished products onto transport vehicles, automating tasks once performed manually and in such a way eliminating costs and the possibility of human error.
Depending on the organizational structure of the concern and the characteristics of each customer, various storage criteria can be set, which are flagged by the operator when the finished products arrive in the warehouse. The objective is twofold: optimizing space and handling times and, at the same time, guaranteeing the traceability of each storage unit, whose movements are automatically recorded by the system. The resulting efficiency enhances the productivity of the logistics department in that it reduces and simplifies movements, picking and loading times, human error and, last but not least, paper consumption. It also fosters the interchangeability of operators and optimizes the use of storage space.
But that’s not all. EasyStock guarantees product and batch traceability, makes goods accessible and prevents the need to look for them, with a significant improvement to customer service (delivery first and foremost), as well as data management.
With 30 years of constant development and more than 300 installations in as many facilities around the world, PC-Topp.NET is a complete web-based solution developed by the German software house Neugebauer and distributed in Italy exclusively by RTS. It integrates the planning of the corrugator and converting machinery with the concern’s management system, enabling optimal programming for the production of individual units and the entire factory. With fast implementation and compatibility with leading brand installations, it uses an Internet Explorer interface, with the advantages of remote access and ease of use.
A window to the facility – PC-Topp.NET enables remotely monitoring the order being processed by the corrugator, the machine in operation, the speed of the process and the task progress status, thus enabling the comparison of scheduling data and drafting performance diagrams at the end of the day. All production information is thus shared, events recorded and archived and reports completed and made available. PC-Topp.NET also enables printing delivery labels and custom slips for internal use, complex barcodes (SSCC) and logos; it also supports CAD displays, making it easier to generate graphics with order specifications, printed schema, design of the box in production…
Two advantages that stand out – No more slowdowns or stops due to lack of orders: correct scheduling highlights potential bottlenecking, in such a way enabling “corrections” to the scheduling so as to prevent lost time. And there’s more: conversion planning enables adapting the corrugator planning to production, committing the machine only for the time necessary and producing only the amount of material required by the next conversion task.