FACTIVITY: Enhancing Lean Manufacturing with MES Workbench

FACTIVITY: Enhancing Lean Manufacturing with MES Workbench

With the advent of advanced technology, manufacturing companies are realizing that a Just-In-Time (JIT) approach alone is not enough to stay competitive in the market. Lean manufacturing has become a growing need to improve a manufacturer’s shop floor performance, customer responsiveness, and bottom line. Lean principles reduce inventory through better communication and touchscreen technology to track productivity in real time. To help organizations adopt lean manufacturing, Cleveland, OH based FACTIVITY develops, implements, and supports integrated manufacturing software products. It provides manufacturing companies with easy-to-use activity tracking system for their factory floor. “Our software tools help clients improve production processes, lower costs, and enhance on-time delivery,” begins John Leibert, President and CEO, FACTIVITY.

Easy-to-use information tools help organizations using lean manufacturing optimize schedules, eliminate bottlenecks, minimize scrap, shrink downtime, and maximize efficiency. Founded in 1984, FACTIVITY’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Workbench improves production processes, lowers costs, and enhances on-time delivery. The lean manufacturing solution includes advanced inventory management capability as well as add-on modules for real-time factory floor visibility and productivity updates through intuitive, easy-to-use touchscreens on the factory floor.

Using a customizable factory floor User Interface (UI), FACTIVITY’s solutions consist of Shop Floor Workbench (SF), Advanced Planning and Scheduling Workbench (APS), Time and Attendance Workbench (TA), and Metrics Modules. FACTIVITY’s SF provides functionality for real-time Work-In- Process (WIP) tracking, better material management, and improved production control. It has three add-on modules which are designed to reduce paperwork. The APS solution offers different features and functions that provide a new level of production and inventory management that go well beyond the capability of typical ERP systems. “Our solutions start with basic finite scheduling that provides a much more realistic ‘execution’ schedule with granularity to smooth out the capacity overloads,” says Leibert. FACTIVITY’s TA software module is designed to process clock and job card records for an external payroll system.

Our products help manufacturers to manage inventory better, shrink cycle time, and increase productivity

The Metrics Modules offer Manufacturing Management, a tool to drill down into data and find ways to improve their manufacturing floor’s production process. “Our products help manufacturers to manage inventory better, shrink cycle time, and increase productivity,” extols Leibert.

One of their customers, American Trim—a provider of metal components for the appliance, heavy truck and automotive industries—wanted to eliminate human errors in keying in part numbers during the production process. They also needed to ensure that correct labels are placed on the products for accurate shipping. American Trim instituted an “Earn-a-Label” system into its production process that utilizes FACTIVITY’s MES Workbench. American Trim and FACTIVITY teamed up to enhance the software with an “Earn-a-Label” solution that requires operators to report production in order to print a label. The system builds on FACTIVITY’s human friendly interface, adding part specific details so that the correct labels are printed based on operator production reporting. The operator “earns” their serialized label through production reporting. “FACTIVITY solution provides immediate and streamlined communications,” says Paul Pellegrini, Director of IT, American Trim. “It has helped us improve inventory and labor reporting accuracy and is very easy for those on the shop floor to use.”

With numerous such success stories, FACTIVITY is on a mission to deliver solutions that make manufacturers more competitive. “We look to the future to provide a variety of ‘state-of-the-art’ software solutions to help manufacturing companies improve the use of information systems in controlling and managing their businesses,” concludes Leibert.