Optimization of production processes with abat
Standard solution for production control
PLUS is so far the only standardized complete solution which makes it possible to manage and optimize the processes in automotive sector as well as in other complex variant production in the discrete manufacturing industries. The Manufacturing-Execution-System (MES) consists of 30 different modules that can be used independently, but also in combination. The service-oriented architectures (SOA) enable universal processes and ensure a high degree of standardization. All the modules in the production control area are quite quick and easy to implement and operate as well as to harmonise across different plants and countries. Heterogeneous system landscapes thus become a thing of past. Changes and new demands on the control system – even process adjustments or additional locations – all that the users can conveniently implement right on the screen without a great deal of effort.
The MES system PLUS is available in two versions. PLUS, as it has been used by Daimler AG for many years and by Qoros since 2013 – on a HP NonStop server with .net at clients and COBOL for server applications on the one hand, and on the other hand in the entirely new version as PLUS@SAP completely integrated with SAP ERP based on SAP technologies.
Main advantages of the PLUS production control:
Cost reduction and process optimization
Boosting efficiency through process standartization
Lower costs for maintenance and service
Quick implementation of control system and high level of flexibility
High availability (365 days a year – 24 hours a day)
Demand-driven and results-oriented production in real time
Global and multiple production
Additional advantages of the PLUS@SAP version
Technical and semantic integration into SAP
SAP NetWeaver technology platform
PLUS acts as the central module in the customer order process by managing and controlling the individual production steps. This high-availability production control solution fulfills all relevant process requirements of the discrete industries and, in particular, in the automotive sector – from bodyshell work to sorting management, painting up to the handover to the sales department. The core functions of PLUS include complete order management, system-, bodywork and material flow control as well as automated quality management. With the help of the IQM (Inline Quality Management), the control system records all the errors occurring during the production, traces the causes for the same and documents these in detail.
Overview of the PLUS core functions:
- Order data and process data management
- Bodywork and material flow control
- Buffer control
- Feeding data to production systems
- Production monitoring
- Supplier control
- Quality management
- Worker information
All production control fucntions are designed as services and can be handled flexibly using the PLUS process manager. All processes can thus be converted into the product very efficiently and flexibly. Be it product launch or adaptation: all steps can be realized quickly and easily in PLUS.
For optimal and flexible use, the high-availability production control solution PLUS can be operated through different user interfaces – even through mobile end devices like PDAs.
Plus and SAP production control
The technology platform SAP NetWeaver forms the basis for universal processes and uniform metadata. The PLUS control system is thus completely integrated with the ERP applications of SAP (technically and semantically). All company data and business processes stored in the SAP system can be synchronized with the processes, functions and data stored in PLUS. This results in custom-made solutions and smooth, highly efficient processes. Production thus becomes efficient and stable as well as flexible and cost-effective. Be it simple processes or highly complex plants – the process support in PLUS is extremely efficient and is not limited to specific plants: the high-availability PLUS production control facilitates comprehensive production across different plants, regions and countries – without much effort. Netweaver-compatible applications of other manufacturers can also be linked with the control system.
Though SAP AG has its own Manufacturing-Execution-System, the scalable production solution SAP ME, it is mainly aimed at smaller companies such as suppliers. On the contrary, the PLUS production control is designed for major companies in the discrete manufacturing industries or automotive sector, which have to manage large quantities and a large number of model variants. SAP confirms this too: “Plus is a very good supplement to the existing SAP portfolio”, Holger Masser, Global Head of Industry Business Unit Automotive SAP AG said. “The control system is perfectly suitable for complex productions with large volumes and large number of variants
abat has more than 20 years of experience in development and implementation as well as in rollout and support of software solutions. Our standardized procedure, which can also be adapted to the needs of the respective customer, has thereby proven successful. This procedure is divided into the following phases:
a. Quick Assessment:
- Analysis of the customer’s architecture
- Portrayal of a future scenario
- Estimation of the optimization potential
b. Due diligence and fit-gap analysis
- Strategic environment analysis
- Description of requirements as regards infrastructure, processes, SLA parameters
- Which requirements will be fulfilled with standardization and standard product?
- How large are the standardization potentials?
c. Specification of the developments and development plan
- Specifications based on the fit-gap analysis
- Development plan and assessment
- Alignment with processes and functions
d. Implementation and rollout plan
- Rollout plan coordination
- “Rollout case”
- Suggestion for template
e. Support concept and governance model
- Development of the service level
- Level concept with 1st, 2nd and 3rd level support
- Ticket system
- Definition of the KPIs (Key Performance Index)
f. Mode of operations
- Initial situation for operation
- Transitional phase
- Future operation situation
g. Continuous improvements
abat has not only SAP SE as a strategic partner, but also the Daimler AG. The automotive manufacturer has been using PLUS worldwide since more than 15 years for production control of all Mercedes Benz passenger cars as well as in some component plants.
Customer projects in detail:
- Application Management and PLUS maintenance at the Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and Smart divisions. Over 1.7 million vehicles are produced a year (status: 2014).
- Concept design, introduction, implementation and application management in the Mercedes Benz engine plant in Beijing.
- Blue print and fit-gap analysis, concept design, introduction, implementation and application management in the Chinese car manufacturer Qoros’ newly established factory in Changshu
Advantage for our customers: reliable software, strong partner
- We have been using PLUS since more than 15 years for production control of Mercedes Benz passenger cars and Smart.
- SAP customers benefit from universal processes for the entire value creation chain, from vehicle development, to procurement, production and logistics, up to after-sales service as the control software integrates itself into the SAP portfolio without a problem.
- As a subsidiary of abat Group, abat+ is a strong partner: abat was recognized by automotiveIT and Automobilwoche as one of the top 20 IT service providers in the automotive industry, and it is currently the only service provider in Germany with SAP Recognized Expertise in the areas of automotive and logistics.