HP Composites shifts planning boundaries

Sector: Automotive

HP Composites, part of the French group Everspeed, is a European leader in the design and manufacture of advanced carbon fibre composite components for the Automotive, Motorsport, Naval, Aeronautical, Industrial and Design sectors. To further improve performance and customer service, the company has decided to equip itself with software for advanced production planning and scheduling. Daniele Zonetti – Production Manager and Dario Lazzarini Barnabei – Production Planner, told us about this path of innovation and improvement of HP Composites.


Plan using ERP, Excel and email

Initially, when the company was still medium-sized, production planning was entrusted to a process carried out mainly through Excel sheets, exchange of emails between the production office and the purchasing office with the support of the basic tools provided by the ERP. The planning process therefore followed 3 fundamental steps:

  • Verification of production capacity
  • Verification of the availability of raw materials and semi-finished products
  • Checking the availability of production equipment

This process did not follow a continuous flow between the various corporate bodies but was often vitiated by incomplete information, forcing the actors involved in the planning to repeat the procedures indicated above several times for the same sales order.
A problem, the latter, which led to several critical issues, one among many the timing related to the issuance of the delivery plan, in reference to the customer’s order, estimated at about 5 working days. To this aspect were added the variables dependent on changes in priority on orders, management of sales forecasts, changes in procurement policies (suppliers, lead times, stock), optimization in the factory of the production mix etc. The poor organization of work had repercussions on the planning process, which consequently was further lengthened with a disproportionate time effort in the manual updating of data.
HP Composites Cybertec


Drive growth while maintaining focus on customer service

The company needed to manage production growth by equipping itself with software that would allow it to efficiently organise production planning and that could therefore provide a 360° view of needs and inventories, without neglecting production advances.
Operating in a highly variable sector such as Racing, the need of the production planning and control department was to drastically reduce the time required to analyse the data useful for the consequent planning of the work, as well as to have precise and timely information. This peculiarity would have allowed the company to respond in a short time to the variability of the production cycle and customer requests.
HP Composites has therefore decided to contact several suppliers in order to identify the best solution to manage the entire supply chain.
The choice fell on CyberPlan, which allowed the company to shorten the planning time to 2 days, to create flexible operational plans that can be remodulated by quantity, priority and delivery times, as well as allowing the activation of a review process of the input data for the scheduler itself, such as: item master data, bills of materials, work cycles, deposit deposits, structure and issuance flow of documents relating to production. This process has led to an improvement in the quality of company data. As a result, the dates communicated to customers have become more reliable in addition to those of internal production, a result that has allowed the company to significantly reduce the margin of error.


Excellent results and a new indicator: Timeliness

As evidence of this, a Timeliness indicator was extrapolated, measured as average days of accumulated delay, on 3 articles that since 2017 have developed more than 4000 serials. Going into the detail of the graph, it should be noted that the days of delay resulted from poor maintenance of work orders whose dates were often not updated in the system, causing a misalignment between planning, MRP side, and actual advancement of the pieces in the factory.
Thanks to CyberPlan, it has been possible to improve the quality of this data by reducing the margin of error between the requested and actual payment dates by up to 80%.


A separate mention deserves the possibility for the company to simulate finished capacity workloads in the factory.
In fact, the quality of the output in reference to finite capacity scheduling was highly appreciated, if we take into account the many real constraints of the factory, particularly in the composite materials sector where the key variable is direct labour. Considering the latter factor, estimating the impact of workloads on labor-intensive centers allows HP Composites to organize itself in time in the search and training of qualified personnel, also facilitating the work of human resources. This peculiarity has allowed the company to achieve high levels of flexibility, as well as to divert operators to the most critical plants in time.

HP Composites Cybertec (2)


Continuous improvement of HP Composites

The company does not stop there, but rather aims to further improve the performance of the planning process. Although aware of the inherent difficulties of a sector with a high incidence of labor and variables such as that of the production of carbon fiber parts, the goal for 2020 is to draw up production plans that can be reliable with an estimated average margin of error of 3 working days.
Other objectives that HP Composites has set for the next 2 years are to be able to manage, at full capacity, the work plans for external suppliers, improve the quality of scheduling in machine work centers, introduce constraints for all production equipment and implement the usable KPIs that can be exported to BI by company function.

The case of HP Composites demonstrates the goodness of software implementation projects dedicated to production planning as well as the importance of the human element in paths of this type. In addition, the company’s “racing” attitude is highlighted by the ambition to continue improving performance by using better and better tools and methodologies for an ever-increasing level of customer service.

The digital planning solution for manufacturing companies

Numerous manufacturing companies have decided to implement finite-capacity production scheduling software, in order to get the most out of their plants and production resources. The positive aspects of these projects do not stop at the boundaries of the plants but also touch on inter-company and extra-company communication, reaching the purchasing, sales and suppliers offices. Contact a Cybertec supply chain expert to learn more and learn more.

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