Jabil Packaging Solutions (JPS)

Integrating SAP with IQMS MES to Stay on Top of Plant Floor Operations

A seamless connection between IQMS MES and SAP to efficiently monitor shop floor performance and meet the corporate requirements for SAP

Case Study Print Version
The Company
A key provider of precision molded plastic products, JPS offers healthcare and packaging customers the widest array of design and manufacturing capabilities in the industry.
Return on Investment
  • Real-time visibility of production data as machines are running allows instant response to address production problems
  • Accurate and timely metrics including OEEs, and cycle standard deviation reporting
  • More efficient scheduling of production resources
  • Visual display of production data saves hours of manual processing
  • Smooth and seamless integration with SAP

Brief Summary

In 2013, Nypro was acquired by Jabil which also meant a move to their core enterprise system, SAP. While SAP does contain manufacturing functionality, it lacked the powerful, real-time production monitoring capability of IQMS. Through a seamless connection between IQMS MES and SAP they can efficiently monitor their performance on the shop floor and meet the corporate requirements for SAP.

The Need

New corporate SAP enterprise system lacked powerful, real-time capability of IQMS MES

Healthcare and Packaging markets worldwide are in the midst of dynamic change. Technologies, regulations, patient and consumer behaviors, population demographics, and business models are all experiencing transformation that makes the future of healthcare difficult to predict and navigate. With this risk and disruption come great opportunities for companies that embrace change, manage complexity, and achieve greater agility, scale, intelligence, and control in manufacturing. Jabil Packaging Solutions (JPS), a Jabil company based in St. Petersburg, FL, is a prime example of a company taking the lead in this challenging market.

A key provider of precision molded plastic products, JPS offers healthcare and packaging customers the widest array of design and manufacturing capabilities in the industry. With more than 40 years of experience, the company’s highly specialized teams meet the complex demands of the diagnostic, medical device and instrumentation, and pharmaceutical and consumer health markets, helping the world's leading brands fulfill their market potential.          

In 2013, Nypro was acquired by Jabil to provide new long-term solutions for Jabil customers as well as to continue to serve Nypro’s diversified customer base. Jabil’s experience in electronics and optics, combined with Nypro’s know-how in healthcare and consumables, combine for big opportunities.

The Solution

Change and Continuity: Integration layer between SAP Enterprise System and IQMS MES

 “When we were acquired by Jabil, we moved to SAP, which was their core enterprise system; but we wanted to keep the real-time manufacturing enterprise system (MES) software we had been using,” says Jackie Potts, supply chain manager at JPS Iowa.

 JPS Iowa had been using the complete IQMS solution for nearly two decades, but was adamant about keeping the MES piece after moving over to the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. “IQMS gave us real-time visibility of what was happening on the shop floor, providing accurate metrics and information during our confirmations (production reporting) in SAP,” she explains.

While SAP does contain manufacturing functionality, Potts says it lacks the powerful, real-time capability of IQMS. “SAP doesn't link to the molding machines’ opening and closing, which gives us accurate data in terms of average cycle time versus actual cycle time and our true up and down time. We need the real-time connection to the machines to efficiently monitor their performance on the shop floor.”

 The other part of IQMS that JPS Iowa retained was its preventative maintenance package. “This has proven valuable to us because it calculates the cycles on all the machines and tools in operations,” notes Potts. “Plus, we can still use the work orders to track and trace all the maintenance work being done, whether it’s on a machine or a mold.” 

The Results

Smooth, Effective Integration

According to Potts, there were no integration issues in making sure that IQMS MES worked seamlessly with SAP. JPS Iowa worked with IQMS to create I-docs, reports that are transferred out of SAP and go to a folder on a shared drive.

“From there we use IQ Alert, which picks up those folders and distributes the process orders into scheduling for IQMS,” she continues. Through this process, the orders are loaded onto each machine individually, and show up in real time on the supervisors’ monitors.

“This allows us to watch and monitor our machines on a real-time basis as they’re running,” says Potts. “We know whether they’re behind schedule or on-time. We know it they’re running on a standard cycle time by comparing the actual cycle time in real time. Each of us can pull up this information on our computer and see how the shop floor is running.”

This feature is a particular advantage for production, allowing them to keep a close eye on machines and see when jobs are coming close to a change (e.g., label, color, mold). It allows the prioritization of machine scheduling, making it easy for supervisors to see exactly what is needed to be done, and what machines to use, based on available assets, physical and human.

“The MES also allows us to run reports like utilizations, OEEs, and cycle standard deviations,” adds Potts. “We use those every day.”

The Power of Visualization

While JPS Iowa hasn’t quantified the ROI or hard benefits of running IQMS MES, Potts says those that use the solution immediately understand its value. “It allows all of us to see real-time data,” she explains. “We can see when something is down and why. We see this immediately, and so can react quickly.”

By putting this information on screen in real time for supervisors, the MES saves the company the time and analysis that otherwise would be necessary if the information had to be mined rather than so easily captured and understood. “Without having the visuals at hand, we would have to do hours of manual processing on the shop floor,” she concludes. “That would be labor intensive and costly. The system also helps us do our verifications in SAP, which is important from a corporate perspective. The two systems have worked very well together.”

The key is having a solution that is specific to industry processes while providing a streamlined ERP-MES integration. Through a robust integration layer, IQMS maps data from the ERP system to MES, enabling smooth, real-time data flow between the two systems. This improves shop floor visibility and increases responsiveness to customer and market demands.