Platform for digital production Processing: the PILOT:MES

Anyone planning to optimize production conditions today should still bear tomorrow in mind - a clear argument for the modular PILOT:MES with its focus on the fully-digitized future and on Industry 4.0. This integrates the optimization, quality and energy management for production onto a market-leading technology platform, easily scalable and also usable in the cloud. Thus production achieves a high degree of flexibility and also brings true integration of business processes.

Additionally these unique features also include a logical orientation towards the integrated Production-Intelligence approach (PI). Through these Best Practice methods, with individual customization, the PILOT:MES has shown itself to be exceptionally innovative, cost-effective and future-oriented in customer use. So in one case the delivery times could be reduced by some 60 percent, whilst the job-related error rate could be reduced almost to zero. In other cases, despite considerable increases in quantities, hours worked were reduced by 20 percent and the physical inventory discrepancies reduced by over 70 percent—these are just some examples of the benefits.

Future-proofed production management with PILOT:Execution

PILOT:Execution forms the central entity for executing value-added production processes. With a weighing system, a system for manufacturing processes such as mixing, kneading, cooking etc. and finally a packaging area system (filling, packaging), the three complementary systems cover the core processes for each production site within processing companies.  Connecting the ERP system and the production equipment ensures simultaneous vertical and horizontal data-exchange.

PILOT:Execution is a process-preparation and -execution solution, and is GMP- and FDA-compliant. It focuses on improving quality as well as optimizing, simplifying and standardizing production
processes. Easily-customized workflows permit optimal mapping of customer-specific requirements, or expansion for future requirements. The underlying PILOT platform provides detailed user- and rights-management and is fully multilingual. This simultaneously ensures a high degree of future- and hence investment-security. The functions of PILOT:Execution will be indispensable, especially for the future comprehensive digital-networking of production. Consequently the solution also forms an essential bridge to the Industry 4.0 world, where horizontal integration is fundamentally vital to connecting all functions and data across the value-add chain.

Features Benefits Addons

PILOT:Planning makes production planning simple

The more exact the planning, the more efficient and cost-effective the production. Hence, no production can dispense with software-supported planning. However, the opposite is generally the case: routinely, customer orders are planned in an ERP system, and the rough weekly production planning is often also still produced in the ERP system. However, when it comes to the daily and hourly resources allocation and planning, the detailed production scheduling frequently still happens in Office programs. This creates many problems and, specifically, manual ones: download the data, modify it and process it. Therefore working with Office tables or paper costs a lot of time and confuses relationships. Instead, production coordination takes place by means of e-mails, telephone calls and meetings.

The Planning system from PILOT:Advanced Planning eliminates this earlier workload, as this easily-importable software is the first step towards system-based planning. The data from rough planning can be downloaded automatically from the ERP system and then displayed in Planning. Resources can then be allocated using drag & drop: last-minute order-changes are also easily possible. A connection to the production system allows all production data to be displayed in real time in Planning. The real-time data creates a high level of visibility for all process operators or decision-makers, and variances can be identified quickly.

Features Benefits

Perfect detailed planning using PILOT:Advanced Planning

The more precise the planning, the more efficient and cost-effective the production.Therefore, no production system can ignore detailed planning, and must therefore use advanced planning and scheduling (APS). And PILOT:Advanced Planning is the perfect solution. It supports configuration of the supply chain, controlling and planning. A multitude of different parameters in the areas of resources, processes, order processing, raw material and quality are included. Thus, those responsible will receive a comprehensive overview of the current production status and simultaneously a view of the future status. Since it is possible to visualize the entire production process, measures can be taken for potential bottlenecks.In this way PILOT:APS provides for significantly shorter cycle times and reduces inventories by large amounts, leading to significant savings in both fixed and variable costs. Similarly, intelligent planning logic brings significant advantages to the synchronization of the entire production processes. Last but not least: the system is easily integrated into SAP and other ERP systems via the PILOT:ERP Connector.

Features Benefits

Impressive warehouse management with PILOT:Warehouse

The economic requirements of production in themselves require that everything needed to provide goods should be made available in the necessary quantity and quality at the right time and in the right place. This can only be achieved using a warehouse management system with a timely, location-based digital stock management system which supports the goods-inwards and dispatch area processes.

PILOT:Warehouse has been developed to meet this requirement for managing and optimizing in-house storage systems. This configurable software ensures process and cost optimization in storage locations and regions. It helps to manage the inventory of storage locations and consumption, as well as transport requests for raw materials or finished products.

For stock-holding, the system allows for an annual inventory using mobile- and barcode-aided logging of all current stocks, to compare estimated and actual stock levels. The actual stock levels can in turn be transmitted to compare with the balances in an upstream ERP system. Moreover, checkable documentation for all warehouse receipts and issues in the warehouse makes real-time stock control possible. The PILOT:ERP Connector also supports integration by enabling the automatic exchange of WMS-related data with the SAP/ERP system. 

Features Benefits

Time-saving logistics processes using PILOT:Logistics

Productivity and efficiency in production are closely linked to well-functioning internal logistics. Ultimately, incoming materials have to be received, stored and registered: a task for which PILOT:Logistics has been created. This Logistics Execution System provides a field-proven performance profile of all the necessary functions for managing the internal and external goods receipts. This Logistics Execution System provides a field-tested performance range of all the necessary functions for goods-inwards management, both internal and external. The ERP-Connector for LES thus allows the automatic exchange of LES-related data (such as material master data, order data, postings in the ERP warehouse etc.) with the ERP system.Thus production management has permanent maximum visibility of orders including supplier, due date and status, as well as an overview of current transport usage.  In addition, the system offers reception control (laboratory, clearance of raw materials, suppliers’ quality control, etc.)  In addition, various add ons are available to manage returns to suppliers, customer complaints and shipping. PILOT also offers an add on for the digital management of the existing goods-inwards and dispatch areas. A link to an external GPS-tracking system is also available.

Features Benefits

PILOT:Quality pays off

The classic view of quality management sees a direct correlation between quality, time and costs. Thus an improvement in quality simultaneously brings higher costs and greater expenditure of time. However, a calculation like this ignores the significant economic effects from improvements in the QM processes. This is precisely where there is great potential to avoid consequential costs. In some ways the opportunity to achieve significant economic benefits is hidden within quality management, particularly if QA has already started with early fault prevention: through this, no costs are incurred for reworking, input materials re-purchase, etc., as well as producing better on-time deliveries and customer satisfaction.

This is what PILOT:Quality is intended for. Potential quality problems are captured in real-time by this system and evaluated using analysis tools. The advantage is that the remedial actions required can be implemented directly, ie still during production. But not only does PILOT:Quality impress with this, but it also covers all the demands placed on modern quality management in the processing industry. It can be used for both quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA). The system is fully integrated into PILOT:MES, which brings positive benefits from the worthwhile synergies created. As an example the quality results can be provided directly to the relevant responsible individuals, so they can immediately take the appropriate actions. PILOT:Quality can be installed either as a fully-fledged QM module or selected functionalities can be combined with QM modules from an ERP or other system.

Features Benefits

PILOT:Maintain now made simple

High machine availability levels are a key success factor in production reliability and profitability. In order to guarantee them, solutions shown to be effective are in practice an intelligent combination of the three different maintenance types:  fault-clearance, condition-based and preventive maintenance. The most suitable maintenance type is employed, based on the consequences of a potential machine stoppage and the probability of it happening. PILOT:MAINTAIN offers the ability to perform all maintenance activities within a production site, with system support.  In addition to all the usual and classic functions and requirements for maintenance software, the system has the potential to continuously optimize maintenance processes, bringing significant cost reductions. PILOT:MAINTAIN uses an integrated equipment strategy to improve maintenance processes. This makes it possible to evaluate existing processes and adjust them to operational risks. Thus the corrective, preventative and predictive maintenance methods are combined together and employed according to the risk. In addition the FELTEN-Software offers a link to production equipment, diagnostic systems and specifically used sensors, to support predictive maintenance.

Features Benefits

PILOT:Weighing for efficient weighing and dosing

Weighing and dosing operations are anything but trivial: firstly, to be efficient these procedures must be integrated into the production processes, producing efficiency and other benefits, and secondly the product requirements demand a high level of precision and documentation. The whole process should ideally be digital, for efficiency and additional benefits. For these reasons the PILOT:Weighing solution stands out. The system can be used with all popular weighing-scales and terminals and easily integrated into existing systems such as MES, PPS or ERP/SAP.

The modularly-structured FELTEN solution has a range of other benefits. The system is 21 CFR Part 11-compliant and hence has an easily-used backwards-tracking capability thanks to electronic batch recording (EBR). In addition, the labelling of sub-batches or intermediate products using the bar code system ensures simpler, more secure identification during subsequent processing.

Features Benefits

PILOT:Lean brings the costs down

Decreasing batch sizes and thus more frequent format and product changes generate higher error rates and lead to increases in production cost. Unexpected technical defects cause delays, fluctuating material quality brings reworks, write-offs and more production cost increases. Lean Management typically aims to reduce costs, improve quality and complete customer orders on time and to the correct amount, as well as identifying wastage and losses, locating potential improvements and enhancing production processes with the appropriate solutions and methods.   This brings reduced throughput times, higher quality levels and sparkling cost reductions. Companies employing the Lean approach do in fact often achieve a doubling in production capacity and cut delivery times by half, using fewer resources. Effective Lean Management also requires modern, future-proofed system support.  PILOT: LEAN includes well-established and familiar Lean methods and tools, including amongst others Value Stream Mapping, for capability-oriented evaluation of production processes. A further advantage of the system is that the classifications used guide employees in a more convenient, targeted way. This results in a uniform approach and processing of capabilities without administrative overheads, regardless of whether there is already Lean methodology knowledge at the site.

Features Benefits

PILOT:Performance sets new standards with performance optimization

Production companies are under constant cost pressure from changing market requirements. In order to increase company profitability, staff must be deployed efficiently, plants managed optimally, maintenance management should be organized as effectively as possible and resource consumption minimized. This can however only be achieved with strong transparency in all relevant performance factors: all possible optimization areas must continue to be identified and risks identified as they arise, using key data. This is integral to costs, efficiency/productivity, quality, service and sustainability. In addition, this information must be available in real-time, such that, for example, sources of production disruptions can be identified and immediately eliminated. PILOT:Performance was developed precisely for such production control requirements. This Advanced Performance Management solution includes data acquisition, analysis, evaluation and communication components. By selecting and preparing the key data at all levels, they offer live support for specific optimizations to staff and managers in their respective job functions. The specific advantage: for all control requirements, key data are pre-defined, available at the press of a button and immediately usable.

Features Benefits

PILOT:Sustainability reduces resource requirements

For a company to be able to survive successfully in the competitive market environment, it must orient itself not only along economic but also environmental and social lines - and take this into account in corporate strategy.

Steadily rising energy and water prices, high effluent  and waste disposal costs and high costs of replacement personnel with days lost for work accidents also highlight the economic benefits of sustainable behavior. Companies which have anchored sustainability firmly into their company culture are precisely those shown to be successful and particularly profitable. With PILOT:Sustainability, FELTEN has developed a software solution which combines a company’s economic, ecological and social aspects. The module belongs to the product family MES Platform PILOT:MES, which maps the entire requirements of modern production management.

PILOT:Sustainability provides the facility to record, display and document the total resource consumption in specifically-defined reports. Storing the cost data allows the relevant costs to be displayed in parallel with resource consumption. The FELTEN solution can be connected via standard interfaces to the ERP so that relevant data can be exchanged automatically between the two systems.

Features Benefits

Legally secure with extra efficiency, using PILOT:Regulatory

Increasing legal requirements in environmental protection, occupational safety and consumer protection are leading to increased administrative/workloads and investments within production companies to comply with the regulations and requirements. In a production landscape still characterized by paper and documents, this means yet more paper documents which must be created, distributed, filled out, posted, signed and trained for.  In addition, numerous people from different departments are involved to fulfill and manage the requirements. Documentation is produced in folders which, for legal reasons, must be held available for years, but are situated in different departments. When customer complaints occur then all records and documents must be laboriously investigated and assembled.

With its functions, PILOT:Regulatory provides the capability to digitally document and manage statutory specifications from the outset. The GMP- and FDA-compliant solution focuses on improving quality as well as optimizing, simplifying and standardizing the processes required to meet legal requirements. By using mobile devices, data can be entered directly at any point in the production process. Product-related inspection plans are displayed and responded to, on-site. In addition, required measurements can be captured automatically and compared with reference values. A central filing-system also ensures immediate access, regardless of the authorized person’s location.

Features Benefits