March 1, 2018, Hudson, NY — Saturn Industries, Inc., a leader in the design and fabrication of EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) electrodes and tooling, offers a full range of the finest Isomolded and Extruded graphite products. Saturn is dedicated to the aerospace, automotive, glass, medical, molding and power generation industries.

Saturn recently solved a customer service problem that had been plaguing the company. According to Rory Lee, Saturn Business Development Manager, “We have been using the same ERP system since 2002. Although it was cumbersome and required a lot of manual scheduling, it was comfortable, and everyone was used to it.

“However, on-time deliveries began to suffer to the point where very demanding key customers called sometimes twice a day to ‘make sure’ their orders would be on time. Our first-in-first out system was a problem to the point where we were delivering about 50 to 60 percent on-time monthly. Worse, customers told us they didn’t believe us! We had to do something.

“We’re ISO Certified, as are many Saturn customers. On-time delivery percentages are an important element for ISO certification. Clearly, we had a problem.

“Fortunately, we ran into Dave Luckner at Eastec in the summer of 2017. He introduced us to LillyWorks’ Protected Flow Manufacturing_, and the turnaround is impressive, to say the least,”_ Mr. Lee said.

As the backlog continued to grow, ever-more frequent production scheduling meetings and high-priority expediting was not doing the job. In mid-October 2017, Saturn installed Protected Flow Manufacturing(PFM). By December 2017, deliveries improved to 71percent. January 2018 on-time deliveries were up 78 percent. February on-time shipments have hit 89 percent – and climbing!

By December 2017, deliveries improved to 71 percent.

January 2018 on-time deliveries were up 78 percent.

February on-time shipments have hit 89 percent – and climbing!

Protected Flow Manufacturing (PFM) At-A-Glance

PFM is very different than a traditional scheduling system which would play back a static schedule that had been calculated at an earlier date and time. PFM is Shop Floor Execution Software that examines each available production order at that moment, determining which can ill afford to wait longer.

PFM simulates the effect of issues that arise impacting resource capacity and material availability that are likely to occur in the future. It uses bill of material, production routing, available capacity and inventory data to present solutions that allow the user to adapt to those issues that do occur. Together, execution and predictive capabilities enable custom, make-to-order manufacturers to deliver to their customers as originally promised.

To deliver all orders on time, it is imperative that the resource work on that production order next. This mechanism provides the very best opportunity to deliver all orders on time. It also reduces the amount of time any order spends waiting to be worked on, which decreases delivery lead times and increases the velocity of cash into the company.

“Now,” Mr. Lee concluded, “we have much better control of the production floor, the backlog is shrinking, and we’re not hearing from customers quite as frequently asking about their orders. In our busy manufacturing environment, one person now manages scheduling. Best of all, we’re keeping our promises!”