Vivapen d.o.o. is carrying on the tradition of a workshop founded in 1967. This workshop primarily produced moulds for making technical plastic products. When the Vivapen company was established in 1990, it branched out into developing and manufacturing writing instruments and other stationery products. Relying primarily on its own knowledge, the firm has developed technical and technological solutions and gladly tailored them to the demands of its loyal customers. Today, the company operates from new modernised business and manufacturing premises in Celje, Slovenia, where it can follow the latest trends in future development.
When Vivapen realised that its existing production planning model was no longer sufficient to cope with increased order numbers, it began searching for a suitable production planning solution. The firm’s planner decided to try out Preactor Express, a free entry-level version of production planning software. As a trial, he used the software daily to assist planning for Vivapen. Following this successful trial, Vivapen wanted to upgrade to a full Preactor scheduling solution. Slovenian Preactor partner INEA worked with Vivapen to find the product that best met its needs. The two firms agreed that INEA would prepare interface specifications for data exchange between Preactor software and Vivapen’s Pantheon ERP system, and also to provide two-day assistance in planning data preparation. They decided to use the 300 FCS version of Preactor, with the option to upgrade in the future, and this was configured and adapted to meet Vivapen’s bespoke requirements. Vivapen and its ERP system provider confirmed exact specifications, after which INEA was able to create the interface between the Preactor software and the ERP system and prepare the planning data. For each moulding machine, a list of compatible tools was defined to enable the creation of resource groups for moulding operations. In order to measure output, quantities are reported to the Preactor scheduling software both mid batch and at the end of production, with the addition of actual production start time entered manually by a planner. The project to configure and install Preactor involved collaboration between three Vivapen employees, two experts from INEA and three specialists from Vivapen’s ERP system supplier.
Following the Preactor implementation, Vivapen was able to create a detailed production plan and consequently get an accurate view of the optimum utilization of critical capacities. Because Preactor was integrated with the ERP system, it enabled planners to create manufacturing schedules quickly, to trace work in progress and to immediately respond to unpredictable events in production.
HOW ABOUT THE FUTURE?
The next step in Vivapen’s plan is to upgrade its licence so it can use the Preactor 400 APS software. This, additionally, will allow it to import lists of materials from its ERP system and to upgrade the configuration to include details of initial stock levels. It is also planned to improve reporting of work in progress by including automated entry of the actual operation start and end times.