Frank Wageman (Business Consultant) and Arjan van Dijk (Operations Manager) are working on the implementation of BTR within Voortman Steel Construction. BTR stands for Barcode Time Registration and should eventually result in the entire production process being digitally recorded, from the receipt of the material through to the loading of shipments.
Digitisation is not only the theme of this edition of Assemble – it is also a hot topic within the Voortman Steel Group as a whole. One element of this process is the introduction of BTR. Frank Wageman and Arjan van Dijk are working on the implementation of this system and are hugely enthusiastic about it. Frank: ‘BTR will allow us to monitor time registration and the progress of a project extremely precisely. Not only us, but everyone involved in a project will be able to see its status at any time.’ Arjan continues: ‘The intention is not to keep a check on colleagues, but to monitor the status of the project. That means, amongst other things, that we can allocate the right costs to the right element without this creating additional work.’
At the moment a lot of the work is carried out manually on an ad-hoc basis. BTR is expected to be introduced at the end of 2018 and from that point on each step in the production process will be scanned. Frank: ‘That will give us a real-time insight. We will no longer have to guess and will be able to see things with absolute clarity.’ That will not only result in a greater and better insight, but will also offer benefits for all parties concerned. Arjan: ‘We currently lose a huge amount of time manually entering data, but also correcting errors due to hours being booked to the wrong project. With BTR we will soon have a clear insight into all data at a glance. Any errors and delays can be prevented and we can respond immediately if there is a risk of a problem or if a problem actually arises.’
Take the Costing department, for example, which will be able to gather much more data on the actual implementation process and continue to learn and improve on the basis of this information. Engineering will be able to transfer information easily. Production will have the ability to respond immediately to any deviations or unforeseen circumstances. And when it comes to transport, of course, statuses will be updated constantly in real time, which means it will be immediately clear whether the planned shipment has left the workshop on time. Arjan: ‘This kind of traceability is also an important factor from a regulatory perspective. It allows us to make clear which part (profile) comes from which heat , as we link parts together using scanning. But we also have an insight into who worked on which part. As a manufacturer we need to be able to demonstrate that this person is actually certified to carry out the task in question. Thanks to BTR, this information will all be processed automatically, guaranteeing the necessary level of traceability.’
With the launch of the BTR system the V17 list is also being introduced. To describe it briefly, this refers to the digital transfer of data from the drawing office (Tekla Structures) to the Production department (ConstruSteel).
‘At the moment the drawing office produces a model in Tekla Structures, a 3D design package. This is used to generate various lists and data. These are received by the Production department and then largely incorporated into ConstruSteel manually. We will also be digitising this information transfer. Ultimately, with the help of the V17 list, it should be possible to transfer this data to ConstruSteel automatically, with minimum effort and without any risk of errors.’