Production under control and 15 years of growth, with CyberPlan
AP Automotive Products, a company of the Raicam group, is a leading manufacturer of clutches for cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors. The company has always paid great attention to the high quality and safety of its range of products and services, thus becoming an experienced partner and trusted supplier for the automotive industry worldwide (some of the company’s customers are: Aston Martin, CNH, Fiat, Ford, Iveco, Land Rover, Lotus and Volvo). The items produced by AP Automotive Products are used both as a OEM and as spare parts (original or after-markeT). The Raicam group has several production facilities, located in England, Italy and India.
The need to change the tools used to plan production was born from the strong and continuous growth of the company, both in terms of products and turnover.
Before CyberPlan, in fact, the assembly gantt were calculated using only Excel sheets, within which an operator had to enter codes and quantities and then manually color the boxes in order to simulate the hours of work necessary for production. This file was difficult to share and required a continuous update of the boxes that were added, removed and colored manually.
The calculation of missing components was also performed manually by an operator who had to check the bill of materials; within the bill the same component could in fact appear simultaneously on different lots, so it was complicated to identify the components. In fact, unlike CyberPlan, AS400 does not take into account all production commitments.
Both the production planning and the assembly gantt were operations that were to be speeded up and simplified and at the same time it was necessary to reduce errors and increase the depth of analysis. All this while the company kept growing.
AP Automotive Products has identified with foresight in the APS tool (Advanced Planning and Scheduling software) the best answer to the challenges it faced.
CyberPlan was thus installed in 2001 and started to bring its benefits immediately after the installation phase. The software solution for advanced scheduling and scheduling was thus adapted to the AP company reality so that today the MRP (Material Requirements Planning) is calculated together with procurement and subcontractors. The time horizons covered go from the three months of the planning of the production plan up to the daily with the scheduling.
When AP Automotive Products took over an English company, it was decided to migrate it to the management software used in AP and to integrate the plant to the planning carried out through CyberPlan. This has led to numerous advantages as it has enabled the two companies (first in customer-supplier relationship) to bypass order entry and leave management of these aspects to CyberPlan.
AP Automotive Products today carries out both the long-term planning and the detailed scheduling of its production of clutches, thanks to a single tool: CyberPlan. The benefits that the company has had were immediately visible with a quick and simplified production planning. In terms of communication, the APS tool made it possible to facilitate meetings between the management and the planning and production departments, thanks to the fact that all the information of the MPS can be collected and exported. In addition, communication between the purchasing and sales offices in England and Italy can communicate directly with each other, thanks to the fact that they no longer have to enter their relative orders. CyberPlan also supports customer service by allowing you to analyze the situation, in case of arrears, for reminders to be sent to internal departments or suppliers. Today, when a customer requests an extra production, AP can also perform simulations in a quick and organized way giving reliable answers in a short time, thanks to the fact that takes into account all the constraints giving the certainty to take into account all the problems and overlaps that could be there.
“In AP Automotive Products it is now possible to carry out in-depth analyzes, from production to logistics, and export the results in tables, allowing to take into account all the data registers, useful for their analysis.” Eng. Ilaria Romagnoli – Supply Chain Manager
The considerable and continuous business growth of AP over the last few years has led to the development of many new products, to the increase in turnover and the acquisition of new productions. In this context of expansion, CyberPlan has helped the company manage growth and keep the warehouses under control, rationalizing their growth, to improve timing and accuracy of the planning, despite the considerable increase in the amount of data. The most appreciated features:
- Easy search for information;
- Ease of information analysis, both in aggregate and disaggregated form;
- Depth of analysis;
- Data visibility;
- Data export for further analysis;
- Extremely low planning time;
- Scheduling speed.