Scapa Group wanted to automate processes at a production facility and upgrade to the latest version of its shop-floor SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence solution.
Working closely with NTT DATA, Scapa deployed a system based on SAP MII 14.0 that streamlines medical device data collection and archiving and also centralises production processes.
“We have many projects we’re working on right now, such as a new product inspection dashboard, and they will certainly help us make sure those projects are implemented the right way. NTT DATA is like an extension of our team”.
Business is good these days for Scapa Group PLC. The leading global manufacturer of bonding solutions and adhesive components has a growing list of customers in the medical, electronics, industrial and transportation industries. And the company has increased efficiencies, improved operational visibility and boosted productivity at three existing plants since it deployed a new Manufacturing Execution System (MES) based on an SAP MII infrastructure.
But the organisation faced new challenges as it integrated a newly acquired plant in Knoxville, Tennessee. “This plant required us to put a lot of quality management controls in place to comply with Federal Drug Administration regulations”, says Cavan Baillie, SAP support manager for Scapa North America. “However, that was difficult to do because the plant relied on manual, paper-based systems”.
Scapa also needed to upgrade the SAP MII systems at all its plants. “We needed to get onto the newest version, 14.0, because we liked the features we saw there”, Baillie says. Another challenge? Aging hardware. “Our hardware supports critical manufacturing systems, so we need to have the best-performing servers we can find. Our servers definitely needed upgrading”, states Baillie.
When it came time to choose a technology vendor to help address the challenges at its Knoxville plant and other plants, Scapa trusted NTT DATA, which had helped Scapa with the initial deployment of the SAP MII system. That deployment was accomplished in just 16 weeks.
Working once again with NTT DATA, Scapa built a fully integrated technical design for each component of the SAP MII application at the Knoxville location to fulfill both the company’s end-user functional needs and back-end SAP ERP data configurations. A shared NTT DATA and Scapa IT team evaluated the factory’s networks, servers, and applications and developed a comprehensive plan to execute the solution, including requirement priorities, an implementation roadmap and key project phases. “The SAP MII deployment in Knoxville was a true team effort with NTT DATA, just like the previous deployments were”, says Baillie. “We really shared the workload for the project”.
NTT DATA also helped Scapa upgrade to SAP MII 14.0 at all four plants. “That process was another great example of teamwork. They adjusted the code to fit the new version, and we worked closely with them on a step-by-step conversion”, says Baillie. NTT DATA also helped Scapa design, configure and deploy a new infrastructure at each of its plants. Scapa now has a consistent IT environment at each site, which simplifies administration and support.
Manual processes have now been automated at the Knoxville plant, giving Scapa access to real-time data and improving overall visibility into operations. In addition, managers and supervisors log in to a personalised interface tailored to provide updated feedback on the Knoxville plant’s current operations. “Everyone has greater visibility into the activity at each plant, from financials to operations”, Baillie says. “Having better visibility means we can shift resources around more easily if we need to. We can better manage the business overall”.
With the new SAP MII solution, Scapa can perform shop-floor processing in real time and on demand at all of its facilities. Using the information automatically pulled from SAP ERP and machines on the shop floor, employees use the SAP MII system to schedule the production work on the lines, track status and provide effective responsiveness. As a result, shop-floor employees work faster and more accurately by relying on data feeds from consolidated infrastructures and business processes. “Our production is definitely up at all our plants, including our newest one, because of the new SAP MII infrastructure that NTT DATA helped us deploy”, says Baillie.
Scapa has fast access to additional resources whenever it needs them because of its close partnership with NTT DATA. “They are always there for us when we need someone”, says Baillie. “If we need Oracle database help but one of our programmers is busy with a project, they will find someone to do the project for us. Or we can call them for strategic advice or technical explanations about new software and hardware. They are an invaluable resource for us”.
As Scapa grows its business, it will continue taking advantage of the technical and strategic assistance provided by NTT DATA. “We have many projects we’re working on right now, such as a new product inspection dashboard, and they will certainly help us make sure those projects are implemented the right way”, says Baillie. “They are like an extension of our team, and they will continue to be a critical component of our success”,*