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Case Study: Autofab completes 2nd phase of upgrade

Supplier: Fenwick Software
03 December, 2009

Autofab, which designs and manufactures fabric for the automotive industry, has completed the second phase of its implementation of new computer systems, switching control of all manufacturing processes to Microsoft Navision.

The solution seamlessly integrates the use of barcode technology and scanning devices throughout the manufacturing process.

Autofab has been highly acclaimed for its achievements over the last three years: Toyota President’s Supplier of the Year Award, Victorian Government’s Manufacturing Hall of Fame and Excellence Award and the Monash Business of the Year Award. A recent important milestone was the production and sale of its three millionth metre of fabric.

The implementation of Navision at Autofab was designed to eliminate the existing suite of disparate systems and provide much needed manufacturing functionality.

The first phase of the project comprised Navision’s financials, inventory, purchasing and sales order processing. Delivered in July 2004, this phase provided a solid foundation for the subsequent manufacturing phase.

The second phase of the implementation focused on incorporating Autofab’s manufacturing activities within Navision. Central to this was the use of barcode technology and portable data entry and data capture devices across the shop floor. The two primary requirements were accuracy of data entry and visibility of work-in-progress inventory throughout the manufacturing process.

Autofab’s vision for the project was realised through a series of intensive business process design sessions, during which Fenwick Software’s bar coding technology experts defined an appropriate mix of technology to meet Autofab’s requirements. The vision has now become reality.

Some of the highlights of the project include:

  • Introduction of bar-coded tracking of WIP throughout the entire manufacturing process
  • Control over manufacturing operations incorporated into Navision (definition of routings, machine centres)
  • Recording of waste data and yield tracking
  • Systematic lot control over raw materials (yarn) used in knitting process
  • Quality Control data captured directly in Navision, eliminating paper based recording
  • Automatic production of Delivery Dockets
  • Location control of inventory and enhanced traceability
  • Roll weighing machine interface to Navision

"The Fenwick team developed an innovative bar coding solution for tracking production through the factory. Now we know where everything is all the time. They are good to work with because they see the problems from a business perspective."

Greg Nixon, CFO


Source: Company