Magna produce high value, low volume assemblies at its plant in Aston, Birmingham for their client Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). Infinity provided Magna with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) which connects directly with SAP and their production line machines.
Magna chose Infinity Technology to provide the manufacturing execution system (MES) for their Aston production plant. This plant produces assemblies and components for JLR’s luxury end, high value vehicles.
The production line in Aston manufactures and delivers door panels, rear cabin trims and roll-over protection system components in sequenced delivery. It is a satellite plant to Magna Automotive Interiors Hartlip division and uses hand wrapped sub-assemblies from the Hartlip plant. A low volume of assemblies and components is produced but these are of high individual value.
The production plant needed a solution that would communicate directly with its SAP ERP system as well as storing and collating manufacturing data for reporting purposes. The Infinity MES solution enables communication between Magna’s Aston site and their Hartlip division production site. The Hartlip division supplies sub-components and sub-assemblies for the main assembly line in Aston. In addition the Aston site requires a number of sub-assemblies and components which are sourced from other external sub-suppliers.
Magna needed a solution to enable them to control multiple elements of the production process, such as accurate stock control and invoicing.
Infinity Technology developed a bespoke just in sequence (JIS) system code named Medway which interfaces directly with both Magna’s SAP system and their Aston plant shop floor production equipment. It controls the accuracy of build specification and sequenced delivery requirements on the shop floor. It also communicates with the SAP ERP system to ensure accurate stock control.
1. Order bank & sequence broadcasts
Magna receives eight day messages (EDMs) which provide them with a firm forecast of JLR’s production levels.
The order bank in the Infinity JIS Medway system is populated with EDMs which have been pre-validated in Magna’s SAP system. Error checking, such as consistency checking, completeness checking and parts validation has already been done by SAP on these files.
When vehicle production starts at JLR’s Halewood plant a sequence broadcast is sent to Medway which contains the EDM reference number. Medway validates the sequence broadcast with the EDM and creates the production instructions.
2. Production Instructions
Medway’s production instructions are in the form of part labels and picking lists. As with other infinity JIT/JIS systems the label is used for 3 purposes:
3. Machinery Interface (TAB files)
Medway generates production files for the production line (also called TAB files). These files contain details of the components to be used to make the finished part. The TAB files are placed directly on a file share. When the barcode on the production instruction is scanned the TAB file data is loaded and assembly commences.
4. SAP Interface – (Real-time manufacturing information to ERP)
Medway interfaces with Magna’s SAP using BAPI (Business Application Programming Interface) calls and communicates directly with Magna’s SAP system at 3 points during the vehicles’ lifecycle within Medway. The 3 points are:
Medway’s interface with SAP makes Magna’s business processes leaner and more efficient. Medway links Magna production site systems with their Head Office in real time. The Infinity JIS Medway system provides the Head Office systems with accurate up to date information about what has been consumed during production. This enables Head Office to re-order with confidence, hold less stock and invoice with accuracy.
In addition to Magna’s business processes, Medway provides the Magna team with a view of the JLR production line. Accurate JLR production line information is critical because the vehicles produced are high value but slow moving. As an added complication JLR makes two models on the same production line with Magna supplying parts for only one of these models. Medway receives several status Webtls from the JLR production line which are used as key performance indicators.