Media Release May 2004
NZ Software Injects Efficiencies into Plastics Multinational
A small New Zealand Logistics Software Developer has been chosen over others by a multinational plastics company to supply its software to manufacturing plants throughout New Zealand and Australia.
Auckland-based Production Logistics NZ Limited specialise in developing software for computer integrated manufacturing in automated industries. Its Aspect PL software has been chosen by injection moulding company Viscount Plastics, part of the global Linpac Group of companies.
Aspect PL is a real-time scheduling, production monitoring, productivity improvement application that has been designed specifically for discrete product manufacturers.
Viscount Plastics has eight manufacturing plants in Australasia, and a further five in South East Asia. Several years ago, Viscount head office set a goal to achieve World's Best Practices within the plastic moulding industry. During the past six years Viscount has been extremely successful at moving towards best practise in Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). Improving manufacturing performance was the next step. This has meant a 'lean manufacturing' strategy is now being implemented, which is aimed at eliminating or minimising non-value-added activities.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) such as stock turns, inventory accuracy, reject rates, cycle efficiency and equipment utilisation were thoroughly scrutinised. Following this procedure, software was sort that would assist in more efficient production management and improvements in Plant Overall Equipment Effectiveness (Plant OEE).
Production Logistics' Aspect PL software was chosen because it enables discrete manufacturing work centres (in Viscount's case, injection moulders) to be connected to a central server. This means information regarding all manufacturing processes is updated in real-time, then compared to the current standard stored in a database. This eliminates human data entry error and provides timely, accurate information which can then be used to fine-tune the manufacturing processes and improve KPI's.
As a further benefit, Aspect PL's ability to connect to Viscount's Material Resource Planning (MRP) systems gave Viscount a seamless connection to 'released works order ' and 'bill of material' information eliminating the need for double entry of data.
Aspect PL was initially installed in Viscount's Auckland plant. Month-on-month improvements in Plant OEE meant significant results where achieved after just one year, establishing the Auckland plant as the benchmark for roll-out to other Australasian operations.
"As a small company, it's always been important that we partner with our clients to achieve the benefits they seek quickly and affordably," says Production Logistics managing Director, Allan Orr. "With more than 14 years' in our industry we have the experience to help our clients with change management as well as ongoing improvement."
He adds "Production Logistics' strategy of using only commercially available technology hardware means equipment - for example, hand-held PDA's - is available of the shelf, easy to implement and readily embraced by a client's staff."
Viscount Technology Development Manager, John Buckley, recognised that Aspect PL was one of the tools that could help Viscount achieve its Best Practice goals. "Aspect was brought to our attention by our Auckland management, and was already proven in the plastics industry which was one reason it appealed," explains Mr Buckley. "The real and measurable improvements we have observed in Auckland have flowed into our Christchurch operation, where Aspect PL was implemented in February 2004."
A growing interest from other organisations and a recent updated version available, which incorporates use of leading-edge technology such as hand-held PDA's to update production information, means Aspect PL is fast proving to be a world class application.
With branches in New Zealand and now in Australia, Production Logistics current development is focused on increasing the scope of Aspect PL and is looking forward to further expansion in other markets.
Production Logistics NZ Limited is a control system integration and manufacturing software development company. It is ISO9001 certified and is recognised as an approved System Integrator by Rockwell Automation, one of the world's largest automation suppliers.
The company was established in Auckland in 1989 as Ecom Systems Limited. In 2002, it became Production Logistics NZ and now has offices in Auckland, NZ, and Melbourne, Australia.