How IQMS Helped Jabil Manage Plant Floor Operations

For many manufacturers, the disconnect between real-time production monitoring on the shop floor and their ERP system (enterprise resource planning) is hindering their ability to deliver improved manufacturing performance.

For businesses operating in highly competitive commoditised market sectors, the ability to turn data gained from real-time monitoring enables those businesses gain advantage. As one Chief Operating Officer at an IQMS customer said:

“We step away from price wars and compete with more aggressive intelligence about how we can offer better production performance, guaranteed quality, and deliveries than competitors.”

For respondents to IQMS’ manufacturing survey, real-time monitoring is delivering the greatest contribution to MES performance in the areas of:

  • Improving scheduling accuracy (52%)
  • Enabling better levels of inventory control (48%)
  • Enables plants to improve production plan performance (40%)
  • Improve order-to-fulfilment cycle times (37%)
  • Improve track and traceability accuracy by having real-time data on production runs for each order (34%).

While many leading ERP systems such as SAP, JDE, Infor and Oracle already have functionality for effectively and efficiently managing their business operations, they are often not fully integrated with their shop floor, meaning there are discrepancies between planned production compared to actual production. This in turns can lead to under-utilisation of machine capacity and higher manufacturing costs.

When Nypro, a healthcare and consumables precision moulding company based in Iowa, USA, was acquired by Jabil Packaging Solutions, they were determined to retain the real-time production visibility of what was happening on their shop floor after having to adopt Jabil’s SAP ERP system.

Jackie Potts, supply chain manager at JPS Iowa (as Nypro became known after the acquisition) said:

“IQMS gave us real-time visibility of what was happening on the shop floor, providing accurate metrics and information during our confirmations (production reporting) in SAP.”

Although the corporate SAP contains manufacturing functionality, the ERP system lacked the real-time monitoring capabilities that JPS Iowa had grown accustomed.

“SAP doesn’t link to the moulding machines’ opening and closing,” explained Potts, “which gives us accurate data in terms of average cycle time versus actual cycle time and our true up and down time. We need the real-time connection to the machines to efficiently monitor their performance on the shop floor.”

By using a robust integration layer, IQMS maps data from SAP to the MES, enabling smooth, real-time data flow between the two systems. This improves shop floor visibility and increases responsiveness to customer and market demands.

JPS Iowa is able to watch and monitor all its machines in real-time as they are running. They can see when jobs are coming close to a change, i.e. label, colour or mould, and prioritise machine scheduling.

“We know whether they’re behind schedule or on-time. We know it they’re running on a standard cycle time by comparing the actual cycle time in real-time. Each of us can pull up this information on our computer and see how the shop floor is running.”

Manufacturers using IQMS’ MES software, including those integrating with existing third-party applications such as SAP, JDE and Oracle are reporting a:

  • 30% reduction in rejects
  • Over 12 hours per week on average savings in scheduling time
  • Maintenance costs reduced by 70%
  • 14.8% savings on average machine downtime.

Learn more about IQMS production monitoring and ERP software.

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