Printing company OTM-Zenith from Brussels is the Belgian market leader in the branding and decoration of machines, vehicles and buildings. These include signage materials for police cars, but also decorative and functional materials for the automotive industry and machine builders. OTM is also the supplier of the official Belgian license plates.
‘Our process is quite complex. You think ‘a sticker is a sticker’, but that is absolutely not the case. We have almost 200 different raw materials. A different type of vinyl for each type of application. That makes for many different operations. Every day, around 700 orders are in production, in varying sizes, over different steps. We needed a system that can cope with such a volume,’ emphasizes Managing Partner Kurt Persoons.
Previously we worked with an outdated planning system, shuffling blocks. But due to our recent growth, it was impossible to plan for. Our planner was busy all day with arranging and rearranging the schedule. We didn’t want that any more,’ continues Persoons. ‘Then a machine would stand still, because the planner couldn’t adjust the blocks. So, we were looking for a tool that can manage hundreds of orders simultaneously and manage hundreds of orders at once and reduce the lead time. We don’t want to wait to execute. If we have capacity, we want to be able to do it.
PROPOS turned out to be the perfect solution to our high-mix low-volume production. With other planning tools, you could schedule different production steps so that you could see in the timeline when to pick it up,’ Persoons says. ‘But when you have so many orders every day, that’s impossible to do. PROPOS schedules, controls and monitors it all automatically. You don’t actually have to perform any action.
With PROPOS we can now see exactly what is happening and we can identify any problem. We use PROPOS to analyse our machining times and lead times. How much time does it take to make an article? That way we can estimate the required capacity better. It’s very convenient for the people on the floor too, it is so easy to use. The work became easier.
With the PROPOS implementation we also started with QRM. I find the QRM philosophy enormously interesting. Thanks to PROPOS, which automatically incorporates QRM principles, I have really experienced the benefits of this philosophy and realized that it is very good for us. But without PROPOS we would never have been able to apply it so well.
Within three months we were live. With 60 people in production and 700 orders constantly on the go somewhere, such a change I think that’s a phenomenally short time. We’re already reaping the benefits of that quick implementation. There is much more flow. We don’t have numbers yet, but I think delivery reliability has increased by 30 or 40 percent. Not only are we more on time, we can be proactive. Using the data from PROPOS, we want to do more analysis for continuous improvement. PROPOS provides a lot of insight for process improvement. We want to optimize and roll-out QRM even further: even shorter lead times and better capacity utilization. That’s the next step.
Quote of the managing partner Kurt Persoons: “I find the QRM philosophy enormously interesting. Thanks to PROPOS, which automatically incorporates QRM principles, I have really experienced the benefits of this philosophy and realized that it is very good for us.”
Link to the website: https://www.otm.be
Link (NL): https://www.propos-software.nl/wp-content/uploads/Case_OTM_web.pdf
Link (EN): https://www.propos-software.com/articles/customer-case-otm-zenith-shop-floor-control-for-the-printing-industry/