Manufacturing forecasting in the production of filters for the hydraulic sector with the Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software
In more than 50 years of history MP Filtri has characterized the oleodynamic filtration sector with an offer able to meet the needs of manufacturers in every industrial sector. The company designs, develops, manufactures and sells, directly and through 8 branches abroad and over 100 distributors in various countries of the world, a wide range of filters for hydraulic drives and a complete line of components for power transmissions and accessories for hydraulic circuits, pursuing the philosophy of product customization. Also part of the Group is an aluminum foundry for die-casting and for shell casting, and a mechanical workshop for the processing of semi-finished products coming from the foundry itself. In addition, in the CMP Division research center at the English branch, high-tech products for oil contamination control are designed, manufactured and continuously updated. The strong sensitivity towards the quality of its product and the attention to the environment have enabled MP Filtri to obtain the ISO 9001 and ISO14001 certifications.
The 1,200 m² R & D laboratory, built inside the Pessano con Bornago site, is a structure that houses the latest machinery able to perform research and tests in extreme conditions on products destined for the world market. An investment of about 2.5 million euros that allows the company to project itself into the future and to act as a real ‘partner’ for its customers, capable of guaranteeing reliability at every level, in terms of design, analysis, verification and realization of the final product. MP Filtri wants to guarantee customers the maximum guarantee in terms of quality and reliability: reliability both for existing products and for the development of new prototypes, which are often made ‘to measure’ and therefore must be tested beforehand. MP Filtri has thus structured itself to face a context of this kind (the only reality in Italy and among the few in Europe) and this thanks not only to the new laboratory but to important initiatives such as the recent collaboration agreement with the Polytechnic of Milan.
In 2007, MP Filtri felt the need to improve its customer order fulfillment process. To this end, it conducted an in-depth mapping of the operational and IT flows involved in the process, taking into consideration the perimeter between the receipt of the customer order, passing through the definition of the order confirmation and the issue of orders purchase and internal processing. The mapping of the process highlighted the need to improve the tools to aid production planning and to define the management policies of the individual materials. The expected improvement points were linked to greater reliability of order confirmations, improvement of the level of customer service and greater availability of information for users involved in the process of order fulfillment.
The planning process is certainly influenced by the high number of items that MP Filtri makes available to its customers and by the contraction of the timeframe of the order portfolio, which is of the order of 6 weeks. This generates a large amount of information to manage; it is therefore necessary to have both fast and reliable tools in the execution of the calculations that have reliable and updated information for each individual item.
Furthermore, a peculiarity of MP Filtri is the fact of creating the entire production process internally, starting from the aluminum ingot to get to the finished product. This makes it very important to make a correct planning of all the phases in order to arrive at the order on the date requested by the customer.
The planning process consists of a strategic phase, which is the analysis of the historical requirements generated by the customer orders in order to define the best management policy for each finished product and for each component.
The forecasting module allowed the use of formulas customized by MP Filtri that have been applied to the different categories of articles. This allowed to be able to easily update the policies for each item, thus easily reporting the variation in demand on all the components involved.
MP Filtri could easily concentrate inventory stocks on the items involved in generating the majority of the business. This is thanks to the introduction of the two-digit ABC class and the analysis of the frequency of use for each article.
The optimization of stocks and the correct planning of orders made it possible to increase the level of punctuality of delivery (calculated on the date requested by the customer) and at the same time to improve the turnover index of the warehouse.
In addition to this we introduced the concept of delivery interval (understood as customer orders shipped on time, compared to the date requested by the customer, rather than the agreed one, on total orders), this value is around 95%. The turnover index of the warehouse has a value of about 5.5-6, which is an excellent result considering the length of the production chain and the size of the product portfolios.