My mission involves going beyond the hype of the marketing term digital transformation into the reality of implementation. Companies have actually been doing this for many years. It’s just that we learn better ways to implement it, and suppliers have developed better tools. This implementation will be interesting to watch unfold.
Rockwell Automation announced the successful one-year implementation of the Plex Manufacturing Execution System (MES) at the BIC, a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, plant in Bizerte, Tunisia.
BIC’s primary business drivers for digitalization and transformation are the standardization of production processes and integration across machines, people, and business layers. Plex MES was selected for its broad functional scope and technical capabilities, with a cloud-based, Software as a Service solution offering comprehensive support to BIC’s standardization process.
We have learned that the best MES projects start small. Prove a pilot at a plant. Make it scalable so that it can be rolled out to additional sites.
The deployment of Plex MES began in 2020 with a pilot project at BIC’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) production facility in Bizerte, Tunisia, encompassing 90 machines and 400 employees. The Plex MES system offers live reporting, enabling real-time visibility, automation of data collection, and tracking of production KPIs. The benefits of this project include improved inventory control, waste reduction, reduced error from manual processing, and overall equipment efficiency (OEE). It has also allowed for the automation of production integration, a significant change for people on the shop floor.
Plex MES also serves as a foundation for BIC’s broader Smart Manufacturing Initiative, including the integration of additional elements within the factory to help shift from a paper-based system to Plex MES and support self-sufficiency with a 360-degree view of the factory floor.