Customers of Stansefabrikken, a metalworking company that has been operating in Ukmergė for almost 20 years, expect the painted metal parts of their products to be protected against corrosion for up to 50 years. This requires a well-functioning Quality Control (QC) system. Therefore, the company has upgraded its QC with the help of the software company Novian Systems, which used Microsoft Power Platform technologies to provide rapid automation.
Stansefabrikken, a Norwegian capital company with over 250 employees, is pleased with the results of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Quality Control system upgrades that were started to carry out two years ago.
“Since implementing the new Quality Control system and effective innovations, we can now guarantee that our metal product painting services meet the highest quality requirements,” said Tadas Malinauskas, Production Engineer in the Painting Department of Stansefabrikken, a company specialising in sheet metal processing.
According to the engineer, for the company’s customers, one of the most significant things is assessing the quality of the powder coating. The requirements for the coating, including the quality assessment and traceability, are strictly defined by customers and certification bodies in accordance with international standards.
Tens of thousands of quality control records every week
The need to redesign the technologically obsolete software for Stansefabrikken’s critical powder coating line arose after the company decided to migrate its ERP system to a cloud service. It was decided to update the applications to integrate the powder coating lines with the ERP system, using Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power BI technologies.
The new Quality Control system, based on low-code technology in the Stansefabrikken paint line, has been in operation since the beginning of this year. During the project, complex applications and external integrations were smoothly reimplemented, as well as innovations in the powder coating line.
“Novian Systems introduced innovations that allow us to take the required quality measurements, get information about the painted products and automatically scan data from industrial measurement tools via Bluetooth. The measurement data is then processed and stored in the customer’s information system,” said Justė Shapiro, Head of the Power Platform Unit at Novian Systems.
“We perform 200-300 different painting orders per week, each one of which requires 10 to 100 quality control records, depending on the quantity that is ordered. Consequently, we have to process an average of 10-20 thousand quality control records every week,” said T. Malinauskas, Production Engineer at Stansefabrikken.
Speed is of the upmost importance
The main criteria for selecting Microsoft Power Platform technologies to upgrade the Quality System were the speed of the application in estimating the number of rows of quality control records generated and the capabilities of the data analytics for that amount of data.
“We expect this innovation to help the operators working in the company shorten the maintenance and response times. To start with, we believe it will save us up to 5% of our time spent on painting line processes,” the Stansefabrikken representative said.
According to him, innovation is a very important factor in ensuring the quality of Stansefabrikken’s products. “Our customers expect the metal parts of their product to be protected against corrosion for up to 50 years,” T. Malinauskas explained.
Innovation is essential to Stansefabrikken’s digitisation
“When implementing the latest solutions, we first consider whether they will efficiently contribute to our production processes and daily tasks, while also creating value for customers,” the Stansefabrikken representative said.
According to him, digitisation is one of the main strategic goals of the group of companies; therefore, a lot of attention is paid to working with the ERP system.
T. Malinauskas explained that the system the company was using since 2012 had gradually become technologically obsolete. Furthermore, it had been heavily modified to meet the business needs, which meant it could no longer be easily updated. The company used 13 external applications in this ERP system.
Stansefabrikken started working with Novian Systems two years ago. According to the company representative, the first year was a period of learning; however, synergies were found after completing the pilot project using the Microsoft Power Platform. In particular, the 4 most sophisticated applications were updated and used to integrate the powder coating line with the ERP system.
The Stansefabrikken representative also revealed that the new ERP – Epicor Kinetic 2021 – is constantly being updated, so the internal integrations with Novian must also be constantly reintegrated in a very short period of time.
Aiming to create maximum added value
“When working with customers in different fields, we always strive to find the niche that will provide the most added value from Microsoft Power Platform technologies. Production companies are no exception,” said J. Shapiro.
According to her, during the process of digitising activities, organisations usually focus on optimising and streamlining the internal processes to minimise human work, but production often involves primarily digitising processes related to equipment management.
“One of the most common challenges facing a production company is collecting information, storing it in one system and analysing the results in order to check the efficiency of the production processes. This is especially true for companies that do not have smart devices that can transfer information from one system to another,” J. Shapiro said.
Rapid production automation capabilities with the Microsoft Power Platform
- Project financial planning process
- Lean monitoring solution
- Supply chain management solutions
- Product production accounting
- Production planning automation
- Procedure for introducing a new product to the market
- Quality control digitisation
- Control of maintenance processes
- Equipment inventory process
- Electronic production logs
Usually, the work process with a new client starts with an analysis of their internal processes, as well as a revision of the available IT infrastructure and other details. “Sometimes customers come to us with a specific issue in mind; for example, they may be aiming to measure their performance efficiency. However, it often turns out that the available data does not provide accurate efficiency measurements, so there is a need for additional data,” the Novian representative explained.
According to J. Shapiro, Microsoft Power Apps are a solution that is primarily used to collect data, which analysts can then use to measure efficiency. “Having experienced the added value that results from process automation with Microsoft Power Platform technologies, organisations often realise these solutions can be applied more widely to optimise their other processes,” the Novian representative noted.
Novian IT management, programming and digitisation solutions
In addition to popular low-code solutions, Novian offers a wide range of IT solutions and services to organisations and businesses tailored to their specific needs, ranging from software development and IT infrastructure maintenance to digitisation.
Between 2016 and 2021, the projects implemented by the Novian companies spanned more than 50 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and America. The Novian companies have been implementing projects in various areas of business, e-government, aviation, defence and energy for many years.
Source: project in vz.lt.