Cleaver-Brooks is the world’s leading manufacturer of packaged boilers and boiler room systems. Their products, systems, and services solve energy and environmental issues around the world involving combustion and heat transfer technologies. Cleaver-Brooks counts many of the Fortune 500 companies among its worldwide customer base, serving markets such as health care, petrochemicals, corrugated paper and pulp, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, automotive, textiles, electronics, and many more.
Cleaver-Brooks maintains five state-of-the-art boiler manufacturing facilities that are strategically located throughout North America. Their plant operations represent the most modern and efficient production processes in the industry.
The manufacturing of burners and boilers is a very engineered and labor intensive business with the majority of orders being configured to order. Issuing appropriate components, building each unit, tracking labor, and maintaining accurate records for future maintenance and service support were all critical to the success of implanting the new business system from IFS. Each of the above had its own challenges, but they all shared one common requirement: the need for streamlined and accurate data entry.
Labor tracking was particularly important because of the high labor component in each order, but was made difficult in one plant since English is a second language for most employees there. Adding to the challenge was the high number of engineering changes required for each order. Accurately identifying the correct engineering change for each order and then finding and issuing the appropriate parts was a critical business process Cleaver-Brooks required.
Finally Cleaver-Brooks utilizes serial numbers which are assigned to each finished boiler or burner. This serial number is important for long term warranty, maintenance, and support. It ensures that replacement parts for each unique unit are properly identified when called for and it impacts the production and inventory of spare parts over time, which is a significant part of the business.
Cleaver-Brooks chose IFS in August 2006 and chose eNSYNC at the same time to implement ScanWorks. The IFS implementation started in January 2007 at the Industrial Combustion site in Monroe, Wisconsin, where they produce configured to order burners to fit a variety of customers’ boilers. The ScanWorks implementation started after the IFS go-live in early October and was live less than two months later on December 1, with seven transactions for manufacturing and warehousing.
To meet the labor tracking challenge, eNSYNC used ScanWorks’ streamlined single screen transaction with minimal data entry fields (two or three) for shop order operation reporting, greatly reducing the data entry effort. In the case of the Lincoln, Nebraska Boiler plant, the Vietnamese-speaking workforce made it necessary to conduct several of the user training classes using an interpreter. The trainer commented that “the beauty of ScanWorks is that after you learn one transaction, every other transaction looks about the same.” Partly as a result of this, he managed to train all 130 users, many of whom had never used a computer, on five transactions, in two hours per class of 15 users.
Labor tracking and payroll were the challenges at the next three sites (Thomasville, Georgia, the Thomasville distribution center, and Stratford, Ontario). These three plants use the same contract payroll system and all were going live at the same time, since they shared the same server for IFS. The payroll data enters through ScanWorks’ clocking transactions, are approved by the supervisor, processed through the IFS payroll interface, and an electronic file is sent to the payroll system. Again ScanWorks’ streamlined data entry process enabled Cleaver-Brooks to train 210 shop floor employees and 25 materials handlers quickly and easily just prior to go live.
To meet the needs of manufacturing Cleaver-Brooks elected to use several elements of the inventory and manufacturing components of IFS. They currently use:
- Serial #
- Lot #
- Configuration ID
- Engineering Change
Depending on the item and the transaction, one or all of these may be critical factors and require real time validation during the transactions as well as at the end. This ensures that the proper parts are issued and inventory moves are made.
ScanWorks’ various shop order and inventory control transactions are designed to “know” which elements are required and to skip over those not required for quicker and more accurate data entry.
Currently Cleaver-Brooks has five sites with more than 500 people using ScanWorks on two or three shifts, with 100 or more using the system concurrently. All of the users operate off one central server over the Internet with sub-second response time in transaction processing, screen redraws, etc.
Transactions and Hardware Delivered
|Purchase Order Receipt||RMA Receipt|
|Move To Stock||Change Site|
|Inspect Purchase Order||Start Operation|
|Change Inventory Part Location||Stop Operation with Quantity|
|Shop Order Issue||Stop Operation|
|Shop Order Issue Material from Pick List||Stop Location|
|Shop Order Un-issue||Picking|
|Shop Order Receive||Pick With Pick List|
|Part Inquiry||Execute Transport Task|
|Change Printer||Clock In|
|Cycle Count per Count Report||Clock Out|
|Cycle Count per Part|
Having ScanWorks to streamline shop floor reporting and labor tracking has eliminated the need for manual reporting and double data entry, saving in clerical work and providing all data on a real-time basis. Up to the second validated data provides valuable information for the enterprise for everything from tracking the progress of customer orders to making inventory control decisions.
Manufacturing operations have benefitted as component parts are more readily identified and located for each configuration and are validated when issued, resulting in fewer manufacturing problems. Material handlers are more efficient now since they have real-time validation of what they need to pick or store and where to go get it or put it. Inventory accuracies have increased as well, compounding the benefits for the material handlers, because parts and equipment are now where they are suppose to be.
Overall, ScanWorks is currently handling about 3,000 transactions per day for five plants. All of this operates on one server located in Milwaukee, and response times at the handhelds in each location are consistently less than one second. Data integrity is excellent
The transactions are designed to keep fingers off the keyboards as much as possible, which is good because the workers wear gloves and it would have been too easy to hit two keys at the same time. Because of the design, users can simply scan and press the “Save” key.
According to Yusuf Abu-Hatoum, Chief Information Officer, the ScanWorks part was easy. A more difficult part was in training the supervisors to use the system. Every time transaction goes into the electronic timecard, and at the end of each shift the supervisor reviews each timecard, corrects it as needed, and authorizes the time. Shop orders can’t be closed until the time is authorized. The Operative HR process needs to be thought through carefully. “Don’t underestimate this task. Get help! The ScanWorks part is easy, but the set-up to do it is tricky.”
“Another thing we like: Whenever we make a change to ScanWorks, eNSYNC provides an updated document showing the configuration of ScanWorks in all five plants, so I know exactly where we are. This one document shows it all. We had to deploy changes across all five plants recently. We were able to publish all changes beforehand, and then we rolled this out one morning and I didn’t get a single call about problems. I had to call people in the plants to make sure there wasn’t some problem, because I’d not heard a thing. There wasn’t! I think this speaks to the solid bar code transactions and eNSYNC’s thorough testing before the rollout, which made it go smoothly.”