Alcoa increases production by 10% with Quintiq

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Alcoa-Kfm in Hungary is a diverse manufacturing operation part of Alcoa, the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina.

Activities of Alcoa Kfm include re-melting in soft alloy ingots, producing semi-finished flat rolled, and extruded aluminum, as well as automotive body structures, and truck bodies. It also performs surface finishing, like anodizing and powder coating. Its workforce consists of almost 2000 employees.

The Challenge
With the ERP system applied by Alcoa Kfm Extrusions it was not possible to conduct a sequential planning for the jobs on the individual resources. This had to be performed manually by the production manager. Thus, an exact production planning was required for the further extension of the Added Value Activities (AVA). At the moment, this comprises more than 20 operations on a considerable number of processing machines. In addition, the planning and steering of the powder coating, anodic oxidation and packaging is conducted with the help of Quintiq.

Laszlo Sztankievics, production manager for Alcoa-Kfm Extrusion Add-fab adds: The manual planning was not reliable and the delivery performance was unacceptable. Detailed feedback data for management purposes was only available on paper. There was no system that supported us to analyze the productivity trend and the actual problems.

Alcoa needed to find a way to handle the volume growth with the same (planning) resources, while at the same time reducing lead time and improving delivery performance.

Solution
The new production planning system was implemented using Quintiq. After importing the jobs and items from the ERP system, the new work schedules are generated by the new production planning system. Then all the possible machines are defined for every operation with processing parameters, necessary tools and required process materials. Then the customer delivery deadlines are imported from the ERP system.

Taking into consideration the route planning of the forwarding agents, a production plan is drawn up for every job and every operation. From the available machines, the one is chosen that enables the most efficient production, heeding the job volume, production speed, fitting cost and staffing requirements.

Apart from the possibility of planning individual jobs with a priority, jobs and/or operations may be rescheduled manually. In the detail planning, the machines are considered as well as the availability of the tools. The next maintenance routine is also established for the tools on the basis of their employment. The implementation time for the project, comprising the analysis, modelling of the application and implementation was 3 months.

Toine Raaymakers, European IT manager for Alcoa Europe Extrusions & End Products comments: In the selection and implementation process we found that both software supplier Quintiq and implementation partner Maul & Partner have motivated and capable people, with a strong confidence of being able to deliver. They have been highly responsive during the presales, feasibility study and implementation phases.

Toine Raaymakers, European IT manager for Alcoa Europe Extrusions & End Products, comments: One of the reasons we have chosen the standard Quintiq application suite is because of its flexibility to address current as well as future complexities in planning. They have the scalability to address the needs of one department now as well as more locations in the future.

Results
As a result of the planning, the necessary staffing and material requirements are identified. A planning amendment is conducted immediately using the feedback of the actual data from the individual production steps. If the deadlines agreed with other departments cannot be met, these jobs are marked. Thus, the planner quickly gains an overview on the status of the entire production and can initiate the necessary corrective measures.

Laszlo Sztankievics, production manager for Alcoa-Kfm Extrusion Add-fab says: Quintiq has enabled us to decrease the lead time, improve the delivery performance and gain a productivity increase of 10%. Thus, the objective of establishing an exact, quick and transparent planning with an individually tailored user-interface was accomplished fully within a very short period of implementation.

Maul & Partner based in Austria has carried out the implementation of the software as well as the business analysis. Maul & Partner is a Quintiq implementation partner that has a considerable track record of business consultancy projects in the metal industry.

Quintiq offers a standard software solution to virtually any planning, scheduling and supply chain optimisation problem. Its breakthrough technology empowers companies with flexible solutions, enabling them to exactly model their business and optimise it fully, delivering bottom-line value.

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