thirdbridge

Formplast

Inventory and production management system

The project

CP Formplast is a company which operates in the field of thermoformed plastic packaging. Their facility, measuring more than 50 000 square feet, is host to a variety of state-of-the-art equipment which enables the conception and mass production of a selection of plastic packages. To complement (inadequately) this advanced technology is an outdated inventory management system, which is currently partly paper-based and partly digital. Such a system can prove fallible in many ways and give rise to costly errors. Its usage, often tedious, can be time-consuming and irritating for the plant’s operators, resulting in productivity loss.

The solution: develop a fleet of mobile softwares specifically adapted to the needs of each production stage and linked to a Web platform that implements a digital inventory management system.

The result: fewer errors, optimized communication, increased productivity, efficiency and overall content of the work force. In the end, the plant’s profitability is significantly increased.

The challenges

The key for this project was to adjust each software to the precise and exclusive needs of every production stage. This required isolating a subset of the system’s many functionalities in four different applications with very specific roles:

1. An inventory management mobile application which can also be used to order raw materials and schedule end-product deliveries;

2. A raw material request mobile application (used by the production line operators to inform the inventory managers of their immediate needs);

3. An end-product availability mobile application (used by the production line operators to inform the inventory managers of the result of their production process and the availability of end products for shipping);

4. An all-mighty Web application that allows supervisors to have a clear overview of the plant’s global production process in every detail and to intervene on every level if need be.

In order to simplify the system’s usage, laser scanner and barcode printing technologies were integrated, allowing for a real time monitoring of the raw materials and end products’ flow within the plant’s production line. Also, thanks to socket and push notification technologies, the mobile applications keep operators informed of the inventory’s fluctuations which affect them and offer a communication channel that allows them to notify colleagues of their needs.

01.

Mobile

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02.

Design

02.

Design

Color palette:

Iconography:

App icon:

03.

Web platform

The system’s Web component is powered by Node.js and the Yeoman framework. It implements real-time inventory management and monitoring, administration of an order/delivery calendar and the creation and modification of user accounts and their respective rights. It is also the software that connects them all, with every mobile application synchronizing their data to that of the Web-based application. The mobile apps also communicate via sockets with the Web-app to receive push notifications.