At the SAP Insider SCM 2016 event in Vienna this month, Mr. Hildebrand from amcor flexibles reported on the progress of the global MES solution implementation, based on SAP MII. ARC Advisory Group attended Mr. Hildebrand’s presentation and wrote this blog as an independent observer, based on the published presentation slides and verbal statements.
Amcor flexibles is a global company producing a wide variety of packaging for consumer packaged goods and pharmaceuticals. As the company has been growing through acquisitions, , many different MES were inherited, creating challenges in cost of maintenance of systems and interfaces, support and harmonization of processes and reporting. A reliable MES is important for amcor, because any downtime exceeding three hours will cause an unplanned production stop.
At one of their plants amcor had an MES solution based on SAP MII. The solution was simple, had worked smoothly over the years, and users were “not complaining”. To amcor, the SAP PCO connectivity to the plant floor is key to collecting machine data. The company added a package from Kepware providing all necessary connectivity via classical OPC to different PLCs and sensors. An additional reason to choose SAP MII, was the trust in the integration with SAP ERP and SAP APO.
Amcor requires 24/7 availability, with up to three days buffer in case connectivity problems or when ERP would not be available, furthermore they need multi-language capability and other localization aspects.
Manufacturing and logistics operations are modeled in MII, and real-time data is stored in a separate historian, for long-term availability of traceability data.
Amcor expects a three-month roll-out, of which two month will be devoted to training and change management. Amcor’s policy is to optimize and adapt business processes when implementing a system, and believes it is important that users understand why the new processes have been created, and how important it is to follow them. The company further expects benefits related to uniform data collection from machines and reporting, cost and risk reduction from legacy MES systems, and global support. In addition the company expects performance improvements because users will be able to analyze productivity for lines, plants or plant clusters.