Pyroalliance, a subsidiary of the ArianeGroup, is a European leader and a world-class player who designs, develops and manufactures an extensive range of pyrotechnic and mechanical equipment for the Defense, Aerospace and Manufacturing Industries. In these industries, security, performance and reliability are paramount. In an effort to increase the reliability of its production and gain in responsiveness, Pyroalliance decided to implement an MES (Manufacturing Execution System) tool in its Toulon factory in France.
Roland Ferrato, Method Engineer and Fabien Cristoforetti, Operations Director, have offered feedback on the deployment of the software through an interview.
The Aerospace Industry: An Industry with Highly Specific Requirements
“We are evolving in a heavily regulated industry, which requires a rigorous and stringent management of our workshops. For years, we have scheduled our production using the SAP software as well as a great deal of paper. Consequences: our file room was overflowing, finding the document we were looking for was difficult and strenuous, and the ERP was not addressing our challenges and concerns. Acquiring and implementing an MES software rapidly emerged as an optimal solution to meet our needs. However, our activity is highly specific and requires numerous customized developments.”
Pyroalliance first drafted a highly detailed statement of work with various criteria: soundness and stability of the company, flexibility, adaptability, etc. The organization then assessed the answers and proposals from several software editors before deciding on Alpha-3i and IMCO Software.
Choosing Alpha-3i and IMCO Software for Their Availability and Readiness
“Alpha-3i and IMCO Software were the option that best fulfilled our requirements and criteria. We were particularly interested in their pragmatic approach and field-based strategy. During meetings, they brought equipment and devices, performed demonstrations, etc. It gave us concrete and tangible examples and facts, which is essential. We were also able to access and view organizations already using their solutions and therefore hear their customers’ opinion and feedback.
“Alpha-3i and IMCO Software were also highly responsive when we sought advice and assistance during the deployment of the solution. Their teams have great listening abilities and a genuine commitment to progress. We were not dealing with a company exclusively offering standard solutions, we were truly interacting with individuals who satisfied our specific requirements.”
Mobility and Data Input Processes Were Greatly Streamlined
“Using the MES, we can directly access our sequencing sheets on workshop terminals without having to re-enter data for
“each new work order, as it was required with the paper sheets we used to rely on. We currently have more than 200 product references and 2,000 WOs each year, therefore, it enables us to significantly save time and increase productivity, while decreasing the number of errors generated. Through the MES, we can ensure that for each operation, the validity of the components used (batch number and expiry date) is controlled, tooling conformity is verified, and any non- compliance is leading to an automatic shut-off. Thus, for our operators it is an undeniable time-saving tool. It also allows us to trace our equipment activities and therefore anticipate maintenance operations.
“Mobility is a key factor regarding the deployment of an MES solution. Our workshops have a surface area of over 4,800 m². Our collaborators have to simultaneously attend to and manage multiple production units. Consequently, we provide our collaborators with tablets that give them access to any information they may need, anywhere and at any time: primarily component traceability, and work order tracking and monitoring.”
A Much-Needed Assistance Offered to Teams
“The implementation of the MES solution represents a substantial transformation for our teams. For a long time, we have been relying on paper, therefore it is of vital importance to progressively switch to digitization and set up workshops and training to assist our collaborators.
“Altogether, the solution has been successfully integrated by all and advantages have swiftly become clear and obvious. The MES solution has increased the reliability of our production and strengthened the quality of our products and services. Moreover, the MES helps us convey a truly modern image to all visitors, which is highly rewarding.”