Andrey Belyakov: "Time forces us to be efficient"

In the beginning of October the company „DKC” presented its new project – MES-system implemented on the basis of the system “Technoclass”. As a result of work, a really effective tool for automated production management at the workshop level or as they say, by the machine was created. During the event we were able to talk with one of the project managers, Andrey Belyakov – Director of the production department of „DKC”.

For the realization of the project was attracted company “L-Class”. What determined this choice?

The thing is that a similar experience in implementation already had the subsidiary company of „DKC” – „DKC-development”. Italians were involved in this project. But we decided to expand the demand geographically and several companies from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Russia immediately fell into the sphere of interests of “DKC”. In the end, the price-quality ratio tipped the scales in favor of the Bulgarian company – “L-Class”. The most decisive thing in making the decision was that they showed us real enterprises where their projects function. Something others could not do. The companies I will list are strong enough players that already use this system in whole or in part. These are Ralf Ringer, PAO S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, „Cryogenmash” and many others.

At what stage of production development does an understanding arise from the need to implement MES-system?

The company “Dielectric Cable Systems” is 15 years old. In almost ten of these, production data were collected manually and planning was carried out through a 1C system. The next four-year stage of production management passed with Excel-tables. And only in the last two years we have been involved in the implementation of the project for automated production management, where for the last three months we have been working in real industrial exploitation of the product. So, time forces us to be efficient.

Without whom would the creation of MES not have been possible?

The teamwork is very important here. But leading roles also belong to the chief technologist and the head of the Measuring instruments.

Did you immediately decide to lead the project?

As thge manager of “L-Class” said: “If the manager does not dream of the project, then its implementation will not be possible.” We and the director of “System 5” (the subsidiary of DKC, which produces metal products for DKC) dreamed it, so the initiative was in our hands. We followed all stages of implementation, acceleration, all control points.

And can one “touch” such a largely virtual product?

If it is divided into two parts, yes. Firsly – this is a software, intellectual property, team work,etc. Secondly, it is “iron” (servers, controllers, terminals, etc.), the value of which is almost half of the project. No less important is that we were previously in enterprises where such a system has already been implemented. In particular, in the footwear factory, it is this program shell that helps it survive on the market.

Have methodologies been developed for the performance assessment of MES implementation?

There are several. The difference is mostly in the estimates of the term of return on investments. If according to one of the methodologies the enterprise will work 2-3% more efficiently, then the return period of the project will be 2-3 months.According to other estimates, this will no longer be months but days with an economic effect of millions of rubles.

Where does this significant difference come from?

I cannot say exactly that the results achieved are directly related to MES. The assessment includes the work of a large team and many systems: ISO, ERP, CRM – solutions and other products.

In which case, presumably, there were opponents to the deployment?

And now we have them. An additional workload appeared at the staff, against which they resisted. Especially at the first stage when you need to create a base and move from one software product to another, check all settings,etc. What to say when shift managers and workshops four years ago did not know what Excel was. Eventually, we proved the effectiveness of production evaluation using excel tables, whereby the resistance disappeared. Now there is another system and again a shock state. Immediately problems of an organizational nature appeared: one untimely took a job task, another is afraid of the computer – assigned the work to another, did not check, etc. This is what we had to do and we will have to fight.

That is, the implementation stage also includes the assimilation of the system by the collaborators. How long did it take for that?

In general, I will say about the deadline and implementation of the project. For years, we have been trying to figure out which program to choose from. We worked with a technical assignment and formulation of the processes subject to automation. It is no secret that automation of the mess will lead to an automated mess. Therefore, an incision was made and a decription of how it is now and how it will be. That’s the first. Then the immediate implementation began, which also lasted for a year. The joint work of the specialists of “L-Class” and the working group of “DKC” with parallel training of the factory staff began. I assure you that it continues even now.

Were there any crashes and how secure is the system?

Somehow the calendar went wrong and one of the days turned out to be festive – that’s how the system understood it. But together with the specialists of «L-Class» quickly understood the problem and in a day we set up the operation of the system. To solve more serious situations, there are two backup servers. To update the base, to import the appropiate settings and to return to the usual code, it takes a half day. If suddenly a controller or terminal goes out of order, we have spare. From this point of view, the project is protected.

What results have you already been able to achieve?

We cut downtime by 2,8 %, productivity increased by 8,8 %, equipment efficiency increased by 10 %, external returns decreased by 44 %, waste decreased by 0,6 %. I remind you that this is data from three months of work.

Do you plan to develop this direction further?

Naturally! In 2015 we will have the task to repeat our experience from Tver in Novosibirsk, where “DKC” opened a new plant. Here we are going to develop modules for quality management and repair management. This means a continuation of the “L-Class” projects, but the saved money allows the investment to be recouped quickly. In a more distant perspective in dreams – preparation for automated management of the entire production: from the moment of product creation to the production technology with cost assessment, planned and factual.

Is there a limit to such development?

At the Ralf Ringer factory, „Technoclass” has been operating for a long time. Every year about 600 improvements to various processes are received. For the time of implementation of our project several new technological lines appeared in the factory, several new productions, which we also want to implement in the system. If „DKC” continues to develop as rapidly as in recent times, there is a lot of work ahead – this field is endless.

Timur ZhEMLIHANOV asks the questions