Solutions for the construction steel & concrete industry

Rebar workshops: Reinforcement Manufacturer, Premium

 

Cut and bent rebar workshops, reinforcing steel industryReinforcing Steel Manufacturers: Reinforcement Manufacturer, Premium

Description of the project

Empresa Grupo Intl* consists of twenty companies, which are in turn divided into several entities. The Group is present on three continents. Its core business activity concerns the extraction of iron ore for the manufacture of long steel. Some of its companies produce reinforcing steel: Empresa Arm* manufactures cut and bent steel on 18 sites, three of which also design and manufacture special welded wire mesh. Empresa Malla* manufactures standard mesh on a single site.

 

 

The total production volume is approximately 50,000 T per month of cut and bent steel, 10,000 T of standard mesh, and 3,000 T of special mesh.
Their equipment differs from one production site to another, but includes several automated machines.

The raw material is provided by Empresa Grupo Intl*.

 

Requirements

The management team responsible for the software project identified all of the requirements of the various departments of the Group’s branches. Essential elements were identified for five major divisions: the Management, the Design and Engineering Department, the Production Department, the Logistics Department and the Finance Department.

 

The Management wanted a tool that would allow for managing the multi-site activity and consolidating all data in ad hoc statistics. Constraints arising from the diversity of units, currencies, locations and languages needed to be taken into account. In addition, it was imperative that checks were carried out in key areas of the overall process, for example, the automatic checking of the validity of a price quotation by the sales manager if the total exceeded a specific amount to be determined. A long-term forecast of raw material requirements was essential in order to communicate these requirements to the Group’s mill and therefore better organize the rolling runs by diameter.
 
The Design and Engineering Department wanted to facilitate the data entry of the lists to be produced on the basis of the drawings. For this, their CAD files needed to be digitally scanned in order to extract the bills of materials (BOMs) to be automatically integrated in the software package. The design of the special panels also needed to be facilitated, both for the conversion of conventional rebars and the generation of rebars using a given geometry.
 
The Production Department was considering adopting the ‘just in time’ model to reduce handling operations and intermediate stocks, and to meet deadlines. Machine control, whatever the complexity of the machines and the type of production, required optimizing, monitoring in real time, and ensuring traceability for the raw materials, machinery and operators. Visual tools were considered necessary to facilitate the response made to the customer. In addition, it had to be possible to integrate maintenance plans for the workstations into the system with a reminder of important deadlines for each machine sent directly to the operator.
The incoming raw materials needed to be recorded in the system through an interface with the Group’s ERP. The reuse of the mill’s labels on the machines was also necessary.

The Logistics Department required delivery runs to be optimized in real time on the Google Maps® model. It also wanted the weights determined by the weighbridges, both at the entry and exit of the lorries, to be automatically integrated in the delivery documents, which should also allow the automatic control of the weight of incoming materials.
 
The Finance Department required a very accurate standard production cost model, integrating indirect costs, and factory and machine depreciation costs. Operating costs such as power, control, and maintenance, also needed to be taken into account. The standard production cost is automatically compared to the actual production cost based on real-time checks carried out at each stage of production, taking into account raw materials, labour and accessories.
Cutoff must integrate all finished and semi-finished products. It was therefore also necessary to be able to quantify and value the stocks of finished and semi-finished products automatically and at any time. This requirement concerned stock reservations and physical movements. The availability of traced stock was also required.

 

Proposed solution

Optimum Pack in multi-site mode + Standard and Special Welded Mesh design and manufacture + TouchBox 
 

Deployment

The customer provided a dedicated project team, composed of at least one expert from each pole (Management, Design and Engineering Department, Production Department, Logistics Department, and Finance Department), as well as an IT manager.

 

The Arma Plus project manager and his team prepared the solution by pooling knowledge with the customer’s project team.
The customer designated two pilot sites: the largest of its factories producing cut and bent steel, and its mesh factory.

The preparation of the solution on the pilot sites was carried out over a period of 10 months and included the following stages:

  • Project management.
  • Order and configuration of the computer and industrial equipment.
  • Installation of the database. 
  • Blue print: preparatory phase with the customer’s project team, involving training, integration and generation of actual customer data in the database – on the customer’s site.
  • Preparation of the machine downloading protocols with connections to the manufacturers.
  • Definition of the algorithms.
  • Validation of the CAD drawing charters for ScanCad.
  • Linking with the third-party software publishers, writing of the specifications, development of the interfaces. 
  • Configuration, installation and testing of the A+ TouchBox.
  • Adaptation of documents (orders, delivery slips, invoices, labels) according the specifications drawn up with the customer.
  • Final training of the customer’s project team on both sites.

 

Deployment on the other sites was carried out over a period of nine months by the customer’s coordination team, with the Arma Plus project team providing remote support.
 

Assessment

Thanks to the careful anticipation of the requirements, and the strong involvement of customer’s teams, the schedule was scrupulously respected. The A+ Software solution is now in operation and meets all of the Group’s requirements that were identified at the beginning of the project. New requirements arise regularly and the flexibility of our solution allows for meeting them in a fully adapted and optimized way.

A+ Optimum was easily adapted to the requirements of each department in order to ensure data control and optimized JIT production in a demanding and highly technical environment.

Empresa Grupo Intl is considering implementing A+ Optimum in its other associated activities.

 

 (*) Company names have been changed