First BIT has completed an automation project at Elopak’s new plant in Russia. Based on 1C:Manufacturing Enterprise Management 8, First BIT organized Elopak Russia’s production planning, ensured uninterrupted flow of materials to the production departments, set up an accurate inventory accounting system and optimized the number of staff employed at the plant. For example, in the logistics and production planning departments there are 1 or 2 workers per warehouse, which is half that of a typical Elopak plant in other countries. According to Elopak Russia’s management, the production planning section created at the Russian plant using 1C:Manufacturing Enterprise Management 8 is better organized than at any of the company’s other plants.

Established in 1957, Elopak is the world’s top maker of packaging for liquid food products. The company is owned by Ferd Group, one of Norway’s largest privately-owned industrial groups. The group has 14 manufacturing plants. Elopak has units and subsidiaries in more than 40 countries, sells products in more than 100 countries, and employs 3000 people. The company has been doing business in Russia for more than 10 years, having opened its first Russian plant in St. Petersburg in 2011. In order to ensure the successful launch of Elopak’s Russian operations, the company decided to automate the plant using advanced software.

It was necessary to automate the following processes:

  • Production materials procurement planning;
  • Sales planning;
  • Production planning, including made-to-order;
  • Warehouse management;
  • Fast managerial reporting;
  • IFRS reporting;
  • Integration with BI systems used in the company.

After analyzing the available software alternatives on the Russian market, the company chose 1C:Manufacturing Enterprise Management 8, which unites all of the desired functionality in a single system. To implement the software, the company chose First BIT, a highly experienced integrator of automation software in industrial enterprises.

The challenge was to automate the plant while it was still under construction. The amount of information available on the future production process was minimal. This meant it was necessary to pay special attention to pre-project investigation and modeling various situations. In order to optimally structure the production planning processes, First BIT took into account the best practices used in modern leading ERP-systems. First BIT integrated 1C:Manufacturing Enterprise Management 8 with the BI system of the company’s headquarters in the Netherlands, and trained the employees on it. First BIT launched the software system concurrently with the launch of the plant.

As a result, 90 employees were able to immediately begin working in a system that fully automated the company’s accounting, financial management, manufacturing, warehouse, logistics, procurement and sales.

Main benefits of the project

Materials are supplied to production without interruption, according to a schedule that can be adjusted according to changing production forecasts and inventory.

The production planning processes were developed from scratch. Products are made only on the basis of orders placed in the system and approved by the Customer Support Department.

The production department creates the production schedule according to the production windows. The planning department generates in the system a list of production tasks. It takes into account various indicators such as the configuration of the package, the set of colors for printing and the equipment set-up time.

There are two production stages. In stage one, the workpiece is produced and the image and customer information are printed on the template. In stage two, the workpiece is glued. Reliable production control minimizes losses due to defects.

The finished products are packaged and stored on pallets. The warehouse is organized for optimal efficiency, with pallets set on racks in separate cells, each with its own bar code. When picking the order, the loader operator uses a data collection terminal to determine the location of the desired product (rack, level and column) and moves it to the loading dock.

The system has a mechanism that calculates the self-cost in accordance with the principles of IFRS. All the required reports are promptly created and sent to the company’s headquarters. Management always has up-to-date information on plant operations so that it can make timely managerial decisions.

Victor Kraytor, Financial Director at Elopak, notes: “The economic impact of the introduction of the system based on 1C:Manufacturing Enterprise Management 8 became evident almost immediately after the plant was launched. Automation allowed us to minimize the number of staff. For example, we have 1 or 2 people per warehouse in the logistics and production planning departments, which is half that of Elopak’s other plants. And the managers are in general agreement that the production planning section is the best among all the company’s plants. We’re thankful to First BIT for their help with the project and are planning to continue working with them. In particular, we’re planning to set up a more detailed accounting of the production on each pallet, strengthen control over settlements with customs, and implement the company’s specific inventory accounting requirements.”

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