It’s possible a tough recession is just around the corner. As a roll forming manufacturer, you’re thinking about ways to avoid the pain. If you’re an Eclipse user, you can help your company by finally doing a full implementation of a system that allows you to improve capacity and margins without a lot of up-front costs. In fact, you’ve already paid the biggest cost when you bought the software.
We’re Just Using it to Download Orders
And that’s a great use of the system, but it’s just the beginning. If your machines support in-line punching, the punch patterns should be created in the office and sent down with the order. Does this cause problems? Never got punching to work right? We should talk.
We Don’t Want to Duplicate Our Coil Inventory in Eclipse
You don’t have to! There has never been a requirement to duplicate your coil inventory in Eclipse. AMS Controls added a very minimal Coil Inventory to Eclipse many years ago to help out small companies who couldn’t afford a big boy ERP system. Unfortunately, this has led to the most persistent myth about Eclipse, and one of the biggest deterrents to full implementation of the system.
You can use Eclipse to capture the raw material coil inventory number right now, and the system will happily pass that data back to your ERP. Other than the data connection, you don’t have to do any extra work with your coil inventory. Regardless of which functions you choose to use or not to use, you will always tally up coil consumption in your ERP as Eclipse reports good and scrap footage consumption on every coil.
Now, if you want to have a really slick and powerful system, you will point Eclipse at your existing Coil Inventory tables via ODBC connection. This opens up a tremendous functionality set to make life easier for Operators and to help clean up your paper trail on coils as they move through the plant. We should talk.
The Scrap and Downtime Reports Just Aren’t Very Accurate
And they won’t be – until you clean up a couple of issues on the floor and fully implement the system. Reports are only as good as the data that flows into them. Garbage data in means garbage data out. The AMS Controls system has the potential to be extremely powerful in terms of managing the shop floor and mistake-proofing the day-to-day lives of your Operators, but you must follow a set of rules laid out by the system, and you must have sensors in place and parameters set to the correct values.
You can achieve very accurate scrap and downtime reporting in very short time if you target the critical areas and clean things up. This, in turn, opens the door to gaining the benefits of Lean – 5S, Kaizen events, data-driven management, OEE, etc.
Expertise is Required
Yes. In order to get the system into place and running smoothly, you need someone involved who knows the machine controls and the office software inside and out. Training classes are not going to bridge the gap.
For 15 years, I was immersed in the machine controllers and Eclipse, and for 10 of those years I traveled all over the US and around the world helping companies to implement the Eclipse system. Actually, in the vast majority of cases I helped them to re-implement the system. It’s so powerful – so wide-ranging in its scope – that it’s virtually impossible to get Eclipse integrated with an ERP system on your own. You need expert help.
I have done complete implementations in a matter of months. Most of the work can be done by your own people in-house to keep travel expenses down. I do recommend a training trip at the point where you can get good reporting.
This is the way to recession-proof your operations:
- Ensure consistent use by software-enforcement of daily functions.
- Clean up the data flowing into the ERP for costing, and into the reports for improvements.
- Learn to use the system to measure your manufacturing capacities to drive CapEx projects. Do you really need to purchase another line this year, or could you make small improvements to an existing line to squeeze another product onto it?
Contact me right now for a free consultation on how I can help.