There is a robot on the doorstep of your factory
A day in the life of…Here’s what a regular day looks like in a global company like Eastman Chemical Company. At a sales office in Brazil, a sales order for one of the chemical products produced in the plant in Ghent is entered into the system. This item needs to be delivered in a steel drum. Based on stock information and planned orders, the Brazil team can automatically check availability, even when operations have not yet started in Ghent.
When the production planner in Ghent enters his office, he immediately sees the order coming in. The planner then uses a planning tool to align the planning of the steel drums with the planning of the bulk product that is required.
Automated real-time stock updates
As production always follows planning to the letter, the chemical installations start to produce the required bulk product on the scheduled date. As the product is flowing through the installation, intelligent meters collect the data and send it via SAP MII to SAP where stock reports are automatically updated. As a result, the production planner in Ghent as well as the sales office in Brazil can monitor stock progress of the bulk product. The production manager can also track silo levels and production rates.
Once the chemical installation has finished the production of the bulk product, it can be directed immediately to the filling stations. At the filling line, the operators use an MII Shop Floor Cockpit to start the machines after which technology takes over. Empty drums start rolling into the filling station where they are filled with the correct product and weighed. If the weight is within tolerance of the planned weight, the journey continues and the drum passes a sensor which sends the collected data to SAP via SAP MII. The printers at the filling line are activated and labels are printed and attached automatically to the drum. Each label contains customer-specific as well as product- and transport data which is crucial in the chemical sector. Scanners check whether the printed information on the drum is correct and conform the information in the ERP system. When the checks are okay, the drum moves to a palletizer and then into the warehouse. If not, the drum gets blocked and human intervention is required.
Later on, a truck arrives to pick up the drums for shipment to the Brazilian customer. When the truck leaves the plant, a weighing bridge interface checks whether the load of the truck corresponds to what needs to be delivered, whether the driver has the required certificates to transport the product, and so on. The ERP system is also updated, thus allowing onward tracking of the delivery to the Brazilian customer.