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Case Study

Shop floor integration with Plex: Enabling your business for Industry 4.0

Learn how this auto manufacturer automated their shop floor production processes and integrated machine-based data into their Plex ERP system to eliminate duplicate entries, provide real-time production insights, improve overall quality and reduce support costs.
Interior shot of man driving a car
Case Study

Shop floor integration with Plex: Enabling your business for Industry 4.0

Learn how this auto manufacturer automated their shop floor production processes and integrated machine-based data into their Plex ERP system to eliminate duplicate entries, provide real-time production insights, improve overall quality and reduce support costs.

Client background

The client is a global joint venture and manufacturer of automotive acoustic, flooring and fiber-based products with $1 billion in revenue, 7,000 employees and 27 manufacturing facilities across the globe.

The business challenge

In order to achieve additional value from their Plex ERP investment, the client recognized a need to automate shop floor production processes and integrate machine-based data into their Plex ERP system. Shortly following its inception, our client made the decision to implement Plex ERP across its global manufacturing locations to standardize processes and replace disparate and antiquated systems. As part of this system replacement effort, our client was interested in implementing a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to complement Plex, and achieve the following goals:

  • Connect Plex ERP with shop floor PLCs for efficient data collection
  • Integrate a MES with Plex ERP to collect data and automate system transactions
  • Provide real-time reporting and analytics to help bolster production efficiency

The Baker Tilly approach

Baker Tilly partnered with Kors Engineering to implement their Mach 2 solution, a MES designed to easily integrate with Plex ERP. Baker Tilly worked closely with our client’s production and technology teams to implement Mach 2 alongside Plex ERP utilizing a comprehensive approach that included:

  • Detailed production line/work center evaluation
    — Mapping production recording points and other points of operator-system interaction
    — Defining customer requirements for quality, traceability, labeling and packaging
    — Documenting unique integration requirements across all lines in each facility
  • Hardware and equipment evaluation
    — Evaluating existing hardware, infrastructure and shop floor connectivity
    — Developing PC, printer and scanner placement layouts
    — Developing new hardware, infrastructure and connectivity requirements
    — Recommending cost-effective options to satisfy integration requirements and save on capital spend
  • Standardized Mach 2 template design
    — Designing a single Mach 2 integration template containing logic to support the variety of production lines across all facilities
    — Developing a standard use interface for operators
  • Solution implementation
    — Developing and testing Mach 2 integration templates
    — Running production pilots to validate integration designs, functionality and solution integrity
    — Training operators on efficient use of the Plex and Mach 2 solutions
    — On-site go-live support for issue resolution and additional knowledge transfer

The business impact

Baker Tilly was able to efficiently implement Mach 2 at over 125 production lines in seven manufacturing facilities in less than one year. Key benefits of the deployed solution included:

  • Elimination of duplicate data entry into multiple systems
  • Automating and collecting millions of Plex ERP transactions through PLC and web service integration
  • Providing real-time production, quality and OEE insights allowing supervisors to pinpoint and correct production issues and inefficiencies
  • Improving overall quality by focusing operators on production activities, ensuring quality requirements were met and providing end-to-end part traceability
  • Enabling quick and efficient user training, and rapid deployment of the solution
  • Reducing support costs across all facilities through use of a common design

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 experts, combined with our proprietary tools and solution partners, enable clients to achieve success.

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