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October 2013 newsletter


Ampacet Europe: securing a multivariate production

Ampacet Europe in Messancy, Belgium, is since 1986 the largest European production site of the world leader Ampacet, specialized in masterbatches development, production and sales. “These substances bring plastics alive, giving them the right look and function for almost any end use. They’re essential in various domains such as food, healthcare, building, infrastructures…” precises Daniel Gobert, Plant Manager. Large companies with high requirements such as Unilever, Shell, Danone, Coca-Cola, Nokia, Ikea, Dupont de Nemours, TetraPak, Exxon trusted Ampacet.

With a growing demand and its constant expansion (65,000 tons per year, 60% of the group’s total production, 5 production lines and a warehouse of 8000M ²), the European company with a 215 million euros turnover distributed since 2011 its production on new lines located at the heart of the European Headquarters of Ampacet in Dudelange, Luxemburg. A site full of promises as expandable and adaptable to future needs ...

"With this significant growth and the gradual diversification of masterbatches in terms of components (up to 3000!) and specific proportions for the world’s different regions, Ampacet had to face new challenges:

  •  best valuating raw materials’purchases specific to a product
  •  allowing a strict correspondence between the production orders and final products
  •  avoiding the encoding transcripts and manuscripts, frequent sources of error
  •  continue to ensure full traceability "

explains Ghislain Berton, Warehouse Supervisor.

With its expertise in inventory management and traceability UP trace was chosen to solve all these problems.
The solution implemented results in a permanent and reciprocal data exchange between Ampacet’s control office which generates production orders (PO) through its JDE ERP and field operators who submit the traceability essential information (lot number of raw materials (components) for example) back.
To ensure that communication, particularly robust handheld devices (Psion and Motorola) were strategically placed in production. UP trace software engineers have fitted asimple and intuitive software application able to care for that decisive informations’exchange:

  •  they receive PO from ERP including production line concerned, product’s formula, raw materials’list with percentage of each, all of these data being collected in a bar code scanned by field operators
  •  Field operators send back to the ERP data scanned (barcode) on the working dispenser and on raw materials’ bags (Batch number) added in accordance with PO.

Paul Ciprietti, Production Supervisor, comments this evolution for Ampacet Europe:
"The main difficulty encountered at Ampacet is the large number of variables to synchronize and control. Until now the encoding of all these data was manual: it was extremely tedious, and mostly error-prone through the multiple writings. Today we can get in a few clicks and at any time all the data on any finished product and this, reliably. The time saving is huge, the FIFO management is optimized and safety is ensured. "