Avery Dennison is a global materials science company specializing in the design and manufacture of a wide variety of labeling and functional materials.
The company’s products, which are used in nearly every major industry, include pressure-sensitive materials for labels and graphic applications; tapes and other bonding solutions for industrial, medical, and retail applications; tags, labels and embellishments for apparel; and radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions serving retail apparel and other markets. Headquartered in Glendale, California, the company employs more than 30,000 employees in over 50 countries.
Improving efficiencies and a dedication to quality in all aspects of their operations provide constant opportunities for improvement for the team. This philosophy is embedded in every facet of the manufacturing process. When defining quality the organization does not merely look at the products they produce but also at the processes and efficiency within the workplace – focusing on quality of time value and the best practices in the manufacturing processes as a whole.
“My title is Data Management Coordinator, I work in the spec control group at our company and we manage the Change management of the item data” – Josh Evangelista.
As Data Management Coordinator Josh is responsible for setting up and maintaining the routings within the manufacturing process.
Manufacturing Routings, sometimes referred to as production routings, is the route followed during each step of the manufacturing process when transforming components and raw materials into a final product. Routings show the production flow that needs to be achieved. A routing holds master data that captures the process and resource requirements of a given produced item. For the layperson it helps to think of the routings as the recipe needed to bake the cake and the sequence needed to make the cake. The routing or recipe provides the instructions on how to use the items such as flour, in what sequence and how much. The physical ingredients are known as a Bill of Materials.
Recently the organization has embarked on a project to restrict certain items to use specific machines in the manufacturing process. The aim being to improve product quality, reduce re-work and stock write offs and most importantly improve customer satisfaction with reduced returns.
“It’s for manufacturing planning and really for quality purposes, because the product might have certain parameters and say it can’t run on a certain manufacturing asset but it could run on others.”
The project was trailed at one manufacturing plant, allowing the team to focus and refine the procedures before running out across other sites. For this trial site it practically meant that there were over 24,000 routing updates needed. A daunting number.
To complete these updates they were faced with the challenge: they could hire new staff, or look at increasing the amount of overtime … less than ideal for the budget and for existing staff work life balance. Without staff to manually update the records the reality was the entire project would be delayed and any benefits would be lost.
“Trying to update 24,000 records just would not have happened manually in the time frame required. We would still be working at them six months later….. Without these More4apps products, we’d probably need a few more people just to keep the data up to date and be able to run projects like this ….There would be a lot of overtime! “
They also knew the wider implications to any production line of changing or updating routings – any stop to production would have serious implications for meeting orders. Josh and his team needed something that could improve the timeliness of updates on an ongoing basis.
“Not getting routings changed in time could cause a delay in production lines and things like that.”
Avery Dennison needed something that could improve the speed of accurate data loading into their manufacturing master data, from Items, Routings and Boms. They needed a solution that could be implemented quickly and with minimum fuss, without the need for a huge amount of staff training and one that could be easily picked up and runout across the entire organization. They also wanted a proven ROI with the whole project completed in the shortest time possible.
By using the More4apps out of the box solutions Avery Dennisen were able to update the 24 000 lines in 24 hours rather than the 6 months they forecasted, without the need for additional over time, additional staff and minimum production down time. Not to mention bring product quality improvements forward, improving customer satisfaction, reducing manufacturing rework and wastage.
“Using the Routing Wizard…. was pretty straightforward. Doing the updates manually for 24,000 records would be just out of the question. I could update 1000 Routings per hour and have the whole process running in the background on my PC, allowing me to multitask while it’s running. It’s pretty nice. Using More4apps is certainly much easier to use than manually or data loading it.”
Beside the timeliness of getting the job done, data accuracy was also improved which in turn helps prevent machine shut downs and improves product quality. Staff were able to check data in the familiar environment of a spreadsheet prior to uploading the data, any errors were picked up there and easily amended. The data was also checked again once uploaded and errors returned directly to the spreadsheet.
“Data accuracy is probably the next biggest thing and just loading things up through Excel is just so much easier than people manually punching stuff in via the keyboard and making mistakes that’s outside of the timeliness.
And that data quality improvement flows in on to the production lines. There certainly can be times where machines can go down if something’s isn’t correct”.
With the success of the initial trial the processes the organization is confident that they run the updates out across other sites. Relatively new to Oracle the organization is focusing on improving internal processes.
“We only started to use Oracle two years ago. So we’re just trying to get everything running. Once we start working on getting stuff running smoother and quicker. Obviously, I think there’s going to be a lot more projects and the work. I can see a lot more use of the routing and bom wizard and item wizard too.I’m certainly a Big fan and I’ve been tasked with within my group, to be the More4apps wizard.”
“From our perspective, it’s been huge, especially the routing and bom wizards because there’s no way of really doing that outside of these products. “