A digital bridge between the Top Floor and Shop Floor at Den Braven

Den Braven is a multinational company with about 1,200 employees, divided into 8 production sites and 25 sales and distribution offices. In addition, Den Braven has a worldwide network of distribution points. Since its founding in 1974, Den Braven has specialized in the ISO-certified production of high quality sealants, adhesives, PU foams and technical aerosols for the construction industry and a variety of industrial applications. After strong growth, the company has established itself as a market leader in several countries. Den Braven establishes direct line between office and production floor with Quinso.

In 2015, Den Braven Benelux decided to further automate the sealant production process, setting up a completely new packaging line. The new machines are equipped with screens running the Factory Management System (FMS). This software makes it very
easy for operators to start and report back orders. The business soon came up with the request to provide the data for the FMS through SAP. Fred Vugts, ICT Manager at Den Braven: “IT then worked with the business to identify which solution best met our needs.”

Quinso: the right partner for Den Braven

Den Braven ‘s SAP account manager had previously indicated that SAP Manufacturing Integration & Intelligence (MII) could be a good tool for interaction. A new colleague in the IT department also agreed. “Our SAP partner at the time had no experience with that solution,” explains the ICT Manager. “That’s why we went looking for a supplier who did have this experience. That’s how we ended up with Quinso.” Den Braven first had contact with Quinso in early 2015, and from then on things moved quickly. Vugts: “In March Quinso did a QuickScan, in May was the kick-off and three months later no less than five interfaces were live.

Real-time communication with five interfaces

Quinso realized an integration layer between SAP ERP and FMS with SAP MII, which now provides a direct connection between production and the office floor. SAP MII acts as a framework to which the user interfaces are connected. Quinso designed five interfaces for Den Braven, ensuring that valuable information – at every step in the production process – goes back and forth between the production floor and the office floor. From releasing the order in SAP ERP to confirming that the order is ready.

The advantages for Den Braven

The benefits of this integration layer are significant. Vugts: “We now see immediately whether all production orders from SAP have been successfully sent to the FMS. The FMS also passes the confirmation back to SAP via MII.” Previously, SAP unilaterally sent information to the SCADA package and there was no communication to SAP. So a change on the shop floor was not sent back to the SAP system. “Since September 2015, the office floor always sees the current status of orders,” Vugts said. “Planners get additional, intermediate confirmations from the shop floor and no longer have to report back products manually. Scheduling is more efficient, the error rate is lower and productivity is higher.”

Extended insight with the Manufacturing Interface Monitor

Communication through SAP MII basically takes place ‘under water’. To make the continuous traffic between FMS and SAP ERP visible to employees, Quinso realized the Manufacturing Interface Monitor. This monitor is more flexible and clearer than the standard Message Monitor of SAP MII. Vugts: “With one look at the screen, we know exactly what is happening in the five interfaces, which orders have gone through and whether they have successfully arrived at the next step in the process. The IT and planning departments no longer have to check the entire log file.”

Smooth and flawless cooperation with Quinso

Fred Vugts looks back on the implementation process with satisfaction. “The professionals at Quinso are committed and flexible. They keep their appointments and their specialist knowledge is impressive. During the testing and delivery of each interface, they were present with us in Oosterhout. This allowed us to switch quickly and really work together. Last but not least: they stayed within budget.”

Solutions in this article

Manufacturing Integration & Intelligence

MII is a connection between the machines on your shop floor and the operational (ERP) systems within your organization