A few words abouT ENGRENAGES SHERBROOKE
Engrenages Sherbrooke is a machining center and a proud manufacturer of gears of all kinds. Gears and mechanical parts are custom-made to meet specific customer requirements. The company employs some 30 machinists and operates some 60 machines.https://www.sherbrookegearworks.com/en/
The problem encountered
Engrenages Sherbrooke’s limitations stemmed from the fact that production was managed manually, a task of such complexity that only the company’s President could handle it. Every week, he manually planned his production, using an Excel spreadsheet. And this work had to be repeated the following week, and sometimes even during the week, depending on the progress of tasks and unforeseen circumstances, not to mention the human errors that could creep in.
This extremely tedious process hampered the company’s ability to take on new orders, or to prioritize more urgent ones, thus limiting production and, above all, expansion.
Most of the parts produced by Engrenages Sherbrooke are custom-made. They have a number of different stages, use a number of different machines and require different skills. To manage day-to-day operations, Engrenages Sherbrooke uses an ERP system to define the manufacturing stages for each part, and which equipment can be used for each.
However, this system does not take into account all the constraints under which the work must be carried out; it only lists the equipment that can potentially be used for each stage.
The solution to be implemented therefore had to connect to this system to extract data and produce detailed work schedules by employee, by machine, by subcontractor and by order, taking into account multiple constraints, including the following examples:
- The precedence of production stages and the assembly of parts with a parent-child relationship;
- Employees’ skills, efficiency and even seniority;
- Machine capacity, efficiency and type (automatic or manual);
- Subcontracting: certain tasks are performed externally by a third party;
- Current and future mechanical maintenance;
- Shifts – day or evening – as well as vacations and holidays;
- Priority of orders according to delivery schedule;
- Status of work in progress and employee punches in real time.
To set up a system to ensure optimal resource planning while respecting the many constraints inherent in the complexity of its product production. Developed by Done Technologies, the Atlas system helps optimize manpower scheduling, better plan production according to customer requirements, resource availability and supplier lead times, provide better visibility of future work, as well as personnel or new equipment requirements, and give greater predictability and reliability of delivery times.
Approach That Led to the Success of the Project
As a first step, Done Technologies developed a proof of concept based on a simulation of typical cases. From the outset, this exercise made it possible to choose between several approaches, and demonstrate that the project was viable, thus kick-starting the launch of the work.
The innovative solution developed by Done Technologies, in close collaboration with Engrenages Sherbrooke, has enabled the company to move from a manual, one-person scheduling system to a fully automated one, in addition to improving its operational capacity by over 95%.
The solution now makes it possible to assign tasks to employees several times a day, depending on the actual progress of work, and provides invaluable assistance in monitoring external suppliers, both raw materials and subcontractors. As a result, the company can better anticipate its future needs, whether human, technical or financial.
The solution also enables new orders to be added to the production line at any time of the week, without disrupting the workflow or current operations. Schedules can be generated on the spot, and now take just a few seconds, which has opened the door to a significant increase in the order book.
The solution also enables parts delivery to be predicted with unprecedented accuracy. Customers can now be informed of a reliable delivery date, as well as the status of the various production stages, in near-real time.
Finally, in addition to eliminating cumbersome planning tasks and facilitating the day-to-day work of the Engrenages Sherbrooke team, the Atlas system has also enabled the company to embark on a digital turnaround and realize expansion projects.
“Working with the Done team has been a rewarding and beneficial experience, both for me and for my company, Engrenages Sherbrooke. The team listened to our needs and the problems we had to solve, and provided us with a dedicated team of experts.
The Atlas system has not only revolutionized our operations, but also freed me from heavy planning tasks, allowing me to focus on our expansion projects.”
President & CEO at Engrenages Sherbrooke