Cloetta has for a number of years now been using Consafe Logistics’ labelling solutions in Sweden with great success, and in connection with the company implementing M3 they also decided to rationalise stock management at the production facility in Levice, Slovakia. Cloetta approached Consafe Logistics with an enquiry, as following an internal study they realised that in M3 they would not have the same process support for barcode management that they had previously used so successfully.
Cloetta’s objective was to implement robust IT support for better control, management and transparency, as well as better follow-up on each stage from receipt of raw materials/goods inward, through production to dispatch. They also wanted to create the conditions to work smarter, as the company’s production function was using a number of different systems, which resulted in an unnecessarily complicated structure in which to work and offer support globally.
"Our need became more critical as the number of production assignments grew in Levice, it was absolutely clear that staff needed extended system support in order to deal with the change," says Metta Lundquist, Solution Architect at Cloetta.
During the preliminary study at the production facility in Slovakia, Cloetta realised that they had major stock differences every month. It was noted that staff were reporting daily how much they had produced on their job cards, and this information was then entered into the data system manually. A procedure that allowed scope for errors. Investigations revealed that system support for production reporting was crucial in terms of achieving the objectives that Cloetta had set for the unit.
"Consafe Logistics’ extensive experience in the field of production logistics and stock management was a key factor in our choice of supplier. We had very good experiences of their earlier solution, and the current one has also shown that it does what it promises," observes Metta Lundquist.
Cloetta’s production facility in Levice has four different production halls, grouped according to technology. One hall is for moulding, one for extrusion, a third has other technologies such as toffee and crayons, and the fourth one is used for packing. Each production activity has different requirements and the process stages vary, yet Cloetta found that Extend worked just as well for all production areas/tasks. Now employees take the material out into production and report where it moves during the course of the process.
Metta Lundquist observes: "In Levice there are new and old machines alongside one another, and Extend gives us the opportunity to study each production order in detail. Post-production costing is important: how much time did we spend? Where are the deviations? Is the recipe wrong, do we have too little/too much waste?"
Cloetta stores semi-finished goods in so-called FlowRacks, where products are labelled with SCCC codes and sorted into lines. Extend controls the filling process directly in each compartment-based line. Optimised material supplies are crucial for effective production, which is why the material to be used must be close to or furthest down the racks. Traceability is an important aspect, and Cloetta controls shelf life by using Extend to block any product for which the date label has expired.
Cloetta and Consafe Logistics have worked together to create the algorithm that controls the FlowRack solution – the right products at the front of the racks when they are needed. This solution is unique to Cloetta, which is considering planning to implement it in more production facilities.
Extend controls the whole flow from raw material to dispatch, with data from M3 including filling and re-storage. Stock turnover is high, and Extend monitors stock levels and raises the alarm as required. The system controls assignments for packing, labelling, stock management and dispatch.
Employees in Levice use industrial PCs from TraffiCom, hand-held computers/scanners from Motorola and printers from Zebra.
"It’s our objective to manage and control the production process, and this is what Extend gives us. Our FlowRack solution works really well. We have seasonal production that requires transparency in the flow and direct reporting enables us to follow up on stock differences in real time. In connection with our implementation of M3 in 2014 at our production facilities in Ljungsbro, Netherlands/Belgium (3) and Italy (3), we plan to implement the Extend solution there as well," concludes Metta Lundquist, Solutions Architect at Cloetta.