Founded in 1990, Springfarm Architectural Mouldings (SAM) is a family business with over 150 employees in Northern Ireland and Lincolnshire, England. Running three shifts, the company manufactures medium density fiberboard (MDF) architectural moldings, delivering millions of meters of product, via 20 to 30 weekly truckloads, to the construction industry and home improvement markets.
Speed and efficiency are critical to SAM’s success as it services customers on the UK mainland, as well as continental Europe and the U.S. Since 2005, the company has relied on Preactor from Siemens PLM Software Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) portfolio to schedule its array of saws, molders, paint lines and profile wrappers. With these machines operating at different speeds, Preactor has been essential to ensuring that all SAM products meet their delivery deadlines.
By 2015, with SAM’s continued growth in volume and production complexity, the company was ready to upgrade to the latest version of Preactor. They turned to Siemens PLM Software partner Kudos Solutions (which had supplied the original software) for the upgrade. SAM’s goals were to boost throughput by 15 percent, increase automation of scheduling from 40 to 75 percent, and improve system stability under the strain of new workloads. A key objective to enable these improvements was to build in more flexibility, so that schedulers could intervene manually to respond to real-world issues and work around unanticipated machine downtime.
Kudos Solutions assisted SAM with an upgrade to Preactor APS 400, spending two weeks onsite and integrating Preactor to collect data from the shop floor. Optimizing scheduling became much easier for SAM’s three master schedulers, and Kudos’ integration created a route of communication with machine operators, who gained greater visibility, a more efficient process and better support.
“The upgrade to Preactor APS 400 gave us a massive improvement; we are now well over our target of 75 percent automation,” says Tim Patton, SAM’s information communications technology director. “The system is more reliable; it can handle more volume, and support calls have reduced drastically.”
Find out more about how SAM approached its scheduling needs, the details of the upgrade, and their dramatic results. Read the case study!