The old concept of a strict coupling of filter makers and cigarette makers should be replaced by a more flexible design, aiming to increase efficiency and production accuracy through a fully automated production order optimization in combination with decoupled production machines. This design - called Filter Distribution Center (FDC) - decoupled filter and cigarette production with the introduction of an intermediate storage facility. The FDC MES now covers a wide range of tasks from master data management, order management to SAP and WMS integration.
A pilot solution was developed for the automatic optimization of the filter production. This solution called for a close collaboration between iFactory’s iFRP® scheduler and a highly integrated Manufacturing Execution System. While the MES has to calculate the necessary filter batches based on current demand, the scheduler calculates when and on which machine a filter production order has to be produced, and distributes the orders in an optimized way. The combination of a scheduling algorithm with a highly integrated MES was a big success and a high value for our customer.
The number of required filter makers has been dramatically reduced, while planning flexibility and accuracy increased significantly. Usually, the scheduler needs less than 90 seconds to calculate a complete production plan. This also enables the solution to react to all unexpected events with optimal results and in real-time. Factory staff is informed immediately if plan deviations occur and is provided with a forecast of the filter inventory for the next hours/days at any given time.