As a part of its cross-group switchover to SAP’s ERP system, US cable manufacturer Southwire has decided to install ADVARIS Cable MES. In August the manufacturing execution system by ADVARIS Informationssysteme GmbH went live in the first Southwire cable factory in Mineral Wells, Texas. Here, Southwire produces industrial cables for a wide range of applications. ADVARIS MES is a core component of “ADVARIS Cable”, the integrated operations management system for length-based manufacturers. The installation of ADVARIS Cable MES is a pilot project for the subsequent installation in all the North American market leader’s cable plants. Installation was preceded by an exhaustive evaluation of relevant MES systems. Guy Brassard, company CIO in Carollton, Georgia, outlines the objectives of the system changeover: “We needed more transparency on production processes across all our sites, and we wanted to be able to trace back every product through the whole production process. Two other aspects that mattered a lot to us were keeping a close watch on the stocks in our factories, and possibilities for quality monitoring and control.”

One decisive factor in favor of the system developer from Bruchsal, Germany, was its specific orientation to the cable and wire industry over more than 15 years of company history. As a result, Southwire’s IT specialists found at ADVARIS ever feature that a state-of-the-art, sector-specific MES solution for cable manufacturers should provide – including the planning and control of complex multistage stranding operations, tracing of individual lengths and the management of manufacturing variants. Speaking of the initial installation, ADVARIS Managing Director Dr. Manfred Moser says: “We are proud that another enterprise in the world’s “Top Ten” cable manufacturers has decided in favor of our system. Southwire is getting a state-of-the-art MES which integrates seamlessly into the new SAP system.”

The range of functions covered by ADVARIS Cable MES at Southwire includes detailed production scheduling, with the target criteria of meeting deadlines and minimizing setup times. The production assignments to be carried out are displayed on the touch-screen terminals in Production. Recorded production data include barcode scanning of every individual drum with actual length, machine setup times and material consumption. Process data such as production speeds, lengths produced and quality data measurements are directly recorded via interfaces from the PLC machine controls. If divergences from planning are recognized, such as delays in completing an order, machine stoppages, consumption of materials in excess of planning, occurrence of defective goods, etc., an alarm is automatically activated and immediately transmitted to the relevant group of employees by SMS, email or pop-up screen.

Guy Brassard praises the flexibility of the software specialists from Bruchsal, who have adapted their system optimally to the existing structures at Southwire. Moser comments: “Right from the start, we prepared our MES for different production environments. Because production-specific adjustment is part of the standard system, our product can be very finely tuned to customers’ requirements, while still remaining completely release compatible.”