Perlen Packaging links the world of manufacturing to the world of ERP

MES CAT from T.CON introduced in just 5 months

Plattling, July 12, 2011

Plattling, Germany, July 4th, 2011 – The Perlen Packaging Group, a leading manufacturer of blister film for the pharmaceutical industry headquartered in Perlen, Switzerland, is seamlessly linking the flow of information between the manufacturing and ERP levels by way of the web-based MES CAT Suite (fully integrated in SAP ERP) from SAP partner T.CON in Plattling. This vertical integration enables the internationally operating group of companies to fulfill important requirements for the future, as it now has a clear and complete real-time view of its production activities. Conversely, released SAP manufacturing orders are immediately available in the MES solution, and therefore in the production area as well.

"This gives us the transparency we need to respond more flexibly to market fluctuations in the area of production and to fulfill customer requirements in the best way possible," explained René Kuhn, Head of IT Applications at Perlen Packaging. "At the same time, we are able to further optimize manufacturing processes and the quality of our products." The detailed assessments on yield, reject and rework quantities and production times required on a daily basis for this purpose are made by the management and factory managers in the SAP Business Warehouse solution (SAP NetWeaver BW). All production and processing steps can be traced back without any gaps, as the quality and test data acquired by MES CAT is fully documented in the quality management system (QM module) of SAP ERP.

By using the MES CAT Suite, which is completely based on SAP NetWeaver, the Perlen Packaging Group has also noticeably increased the availability of its production systems. These systems now run around the clock, 7 days a week. This is possible because the MES solution is installed on local servers at both Perlen Converting AG (Switzerland) and ac-Folien GmbH in Müllheim (Germany). During offline phases of SAP ERP, for example during a release change or maintenance work, the production data from these factories acquired in the MES Suite is stored temporarily via intelligent buffering. As soon as the SAP system is online again, MES CAT transmits the information. Data reconciliation between the applications is carried out automatically.

Machine operators also profit from the IT-supported work flows, as they can now complete tasks faster and more efficiently. This leaves them more time for value-creating activities, like optimizing machine operating time and utilization. Feedback from the system controllers is registered in MES CAT in a matter of seconds. At the push of a button, the analytic module of the MES solution displays current key performance indicators in a well-laid-out graphical format on dashboards directly at the operating terminal of each system.

René Kuhn came to a very positive conclusion: "Thanks to the closed loop between MES and ERP, we always have a transparent view of current production activities. Another positive item of note is the fact that we were able to introduce and commission the MES solution in just 5 months with competent support from T.CON consultants." Perlen is currently installing MES CAT at the American factory in Whippany, New Jersey. There are also plans to carry out QM checks and assess the overall effectiveness of equipment (OEE) in the future.

A brief profile of the Perlen Packaging Group

The internationally operating Perlen Packaging group of companies, a subsidiary of Chemie + Papier Holding (CPH), specializes in the manufacture and sale of PVC mono-films and specially coated PVDC barrier and high-barrier films for blister packaging in the pharmaceutical and foodstuff industries. The group's customers include other well-known groups of companies from these industries, among others. The Perlen Group is comprised of ac-Folien GmbH in Müllheim (Germany), Perlen Converting AG in Perlen (Switzerland) and Perlen Converting LLC in Whippany, New Jersey.

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Norbert Kytka, Headquarters Plattling