Erie Plastics pushes lean, plant efficiency with ERP system

Tags: lean manufacturing

Erie Plastics, an injection molder servicing U.S. and Global 500 companies, has advanced its ultra-lean manufacturing agenda by completing installation of an IQMS enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a leading data integration solution in the marketplace for plastics processors.

Under the direction of Linda Hajec, vice president of finance and administration at Erie Plastics, the company implemented a wide range of IQMS modules for seamless data integration across multiple operations such as customer service management; production and maintenance monitoring (press to press); project management and tracking; scheduling and resource forecasting; real-time inventory; and electronic data interchange (EDI), among others.

Some of Erie Plastics' most significant ERP upgrades involved converting to scanning and bar-coding technologies to better track inventory and shipments; developing new processes for quality control; and having wireless, job-by-job, real-time access to production data to more closely monitor equipment output and make order changes fast and efficient.

Hajec spearheaded the ERP selection process by working with a consultant and assembling an internal, cross-matrix team that worked to both prioritize Erie Plastics’ needs and match them to ERP systems available in the marketplace. Once the company contracted with IQMS, it completed a series of employee training programs spanning the majority of 2006.

"Our IQMS ERP installation reflects Erie Plastics’ drive to keep pushing the bar on lean manufacturing so that we effectively meet the demands of our high-volume customers and jointly benefit from the end results of optimized plant performance, efficiency and productivity," said Hajec. "Our management team recognized the limitations of our former system and could no longer accept the consequences of trying to work around it. We pulled Erie Plastics' employees together to make the ERP transition, knowing it will produce long-term gain for the company and its clients, as well as increase our capacity to grow and compete."

Producing more than 10 billion parts annually and a market leader in combining 128-cavity molds with valve-gate, hot-runner systems, Erie Plastics operates more than 70 high-speed packaging presses with a 60- to 550-ton press size range and in-line cellular manufacturing.

The company's state-of-the-art, 465,000-square-foot facility based in Corry, Pa., has been recognized in the industry as best practices manufacturing and was also given a superior rating in a comprehensive American Institute of Banking (AIB) audit that was administered in late 2006.

Founded in 1960, Erie Plastics is an award-winning injection molder specializing in designing and developing plastic packaging components for the food and beverage, personal care, consumer, pharmaceutical and household cleaner/detergent markets.

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