Apriso: Operations execution system raises Volvo CE to global enterprise status

There's a difference between a multinational corporation and a global enterprise. The former has operating units—production plants and other facilities—in numerous countries that essentially function on their own. The latter has an infrastructure—typically built on standard business processes and integrated information systems—that allow its globally dispersed units to ...

08/01/2008


There's a difference between a multinational corporation and a global enterprise.

The former has operating units—production plants and other facilities—in numerous countries that essentially function on their own. The latter has an infrastructure—typically built on standard business processes and integrated information systems—that allow its globally dispersed units to operate like a single organization.



Volvo Construction Equipment made the transition from multinational corporation to global enterprise by creating a central repository for the production processes carried out at its component, fabrication, and assembly plants.

Volvo Construction Equipment (CE), the Brussels-based division of Volvo Group, made the transition from multinational corporation to global enterprise by creating a central repository for the production processes carried out at its component, fabrication, and assembly plants. This process repository is linked to a plant operations system—Apriso FlexNet—that supports the execution of production processes at the various Volvo CE plants.

It's not unusual for manufacturers to deploy systems like FlexNet, which Apriso has dubbed an operations execution system (OES). What's unique about the Volvo CE implementation is the amount of flexibility that FlexNet allows when it comes to updating its manufacturing processes.

Processes managed via the FlexNet system can be changed almost instantly if someone discovers a better of way of doing something.

Each implementation starts with a template of best practices from the previous rollout, but if a new best practice surfaces during an implementation, it is incorporated into a “process profile” that is stored in the central repository for use at other plants.

This approach has made Volvo CE a more agile enterprise—capable of responding to unexpected demand shifts or supply chain disruptions, according to Scott Park, senior VP of processes and systems. He says the company is building products faster, and with better uniformity.

Volvo CE started rolling out the FlexNet suite at a plant in Changwon, Korea. That implementation took seven months and produced the first template for future deployments, as well as the first entries into the central business process repository.

Park says the template approach streamlined the process of deploying the system at individual plants. The second and third implementations were done in less than six months, and Park expects all 16 plants to be on the FlexNet system—and executing finely tuned production processes—within three years.

Park is confident the timetable will be met, and that Volvo CE will see continued process improvement through the full implementation and beyond due to the simplicity of FlexNet installations.

“We don't consider ourselves a technology-leading company from an IT perspective, but a strong follower of proven solutions,” Park concludes.

See all of the winners.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Mobile HMI; PID tuning tips; Mechatronics; Intelligent project management; Cybersecurity in Russia; Engineering education; Road to IANA
Save energy with automation; Process control system upgrades; Dispelling controll myths; Time-sensitive networking; Control system integration; Road to IANA
Additive manufacturing advancements; Machine vision enhances robotics; Fieldbus evolution; Process safety; Advice from System Integrators of the Year; Road to IANA
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
click me