Automotive_manufacturing
Case Study

Manufacturing execution systems and Plex

Global automotive supply manufacturer engages Baker Tilly to implement a Mach 2 and Plex integrated MES solution at their German and North American facilities. Read this case study to see what key operational benefits were realized through this process.
Automotive_manufacturing
Case Study

Manufacturing execution systems and Plex

Global automotive supply manufacturer engages Baker Tilly to implement a Mach 2 and Plex integrated MES solution at their German and North American facilities. Read this case study to see what key operational benefits were realized through this process.

Client background:

Known for its innovative car seat design and commitment to quality, our $160 million global automotive supply manufacturer client was purchased in 2019. This acquisition required a full transition of all systems and applications within twelve months of the transaction close date as a part of the Transition Services Agreement (TSA) with their previous owner. As part of the transition and ownership process, the client participated in multiple engagements which included the following services:

Manufacturing advisory systems and Plex

Manufacturing execution systems and Plex

The business challenge:

The client chose to implement Plex ERP across its North American, Japan and German operations as a replacement for their legacy ERP systems. A key part of this transition was the design and implementation of a fully integrated, Manufacturing Execution System (MES). Key objectives for this initiative were to provide detailed quality and traceability information through the following processes:

— Interlock shop floor PLCs with Plex to ensure all manufacturing processes are completed efficiently
— Utilize key master data from Plex to perform poka-yoke verification of safety-critical components
— Streamline processes to collect real-time production data

The Baker Tilly approach:

Baker Tilly engaged Mach 2 during the initiation phase of the project, leveraging their expertise in PLC integration to assist in analyzing the client’s existing MES, and to design a solution using the Mach 2 product. Mach 2 is a product designed specifically to integrate with Plex, using web services to automate key system transactions. The project approach contained the following key processes:

  • Detailed requirements gathering
    — Current state analysis of existing systems performing key functions throughout production
    — Identification of MES’ role in customer requirements including labels and EDI
    — Assessment of multiple traceability data repository locations throughout the enterprise
  • Standardized Mach 2 template design
    — Designing a single Mach 2 integration template with logic to support requirements of all locations
    — Developing a standard user interface for operators
    — Safety-critical component validation and poka-yoke mechanism implementation
  • Solution implementation
    — Developing and unit testing of Mach 2 integration templates
    — Running on-line production pilots to validate design and compatibility with varying PLC programs

The business impact:

In six months, Baker Tilly was able to successfully implement the Mach 2 and Plex integrated MES solution at our client’s German and North American facilities ahead of their TSA exit deadline. Several key operational benefits were immediately realized, including:

Consolidation and automation of data collection through thousands of web service transactions per week

— Operators were provided with an intuitive interface to guide them in assembly processes throughout the line, while allowing them to remain focused on making parts
— Supervisors were provided with advanced OEE and quality metrics in real time, enabling them to easily identify production inefficiencie
— Plex is the sole repository for all key engineering and manufacturing data

Due to circumstances driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the project was performed successfully with nearly 100% remote delivery and collaboration including solution design, testing, cutover and post-cutover support.

Baker Tilly provides organizations with the skills, knowledge and solutions needed to take full advantage of their Plex investment and enable the Industry 4.0 revolution within their organizations. Our team of industry and solution professionals, combined with our proprietary tools and solution partners, enable clients to achieve success.

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