The Saturn Site Production Flow (SSPF) system is a Manufacturing Execution System which is an integral and enabling component of the business process employed by Saturn Corp., a car manufacturer, to increase plant throughput.
To remain competitive, manufacturing enterprises such as Saturn Corp. must increase throughput and simultaneously reduce costs. This requires daily and long-term examination and analysis of a plants functions and operations. Using this data, an enterprise can identify production flow bottlenecks and analyze capacity and other factors, which in turn helps identify improvement opportunities. While such information is critical, it is often a challenge to obtain in a complex manufacturing environment.
In order to visualize and analyze the throughput characteristics of the plant, i.e., flow of materials, parts, sub-assemblies, etc., through the plant, and make business decisions for throughput improvement, SSPF implements an engineering process which is used as part of the SSPF business process. The engineering process is a cyclical process that is implemented by the SSPF Application, which in turn consists of many COTS and custom developed components and the Model-Integrated Computing Environment (MICE) of ISIS.
SSPF has been deployed in two Saturn plants and has helped Saturn to increase throughput by nearly 10% in both plants. It has proven to be a very low cost, effective and highly dynamic IT solution for a large-scale and distributed environment. It has demonstrated the feasibility of deployment over geographically distributed sites.
In the future, we expect to add many additional analyses to SSPF and to apply MICE for developing solutions for other domains in manufacturing such as Quality, Planning, Supply Chain, etc. We also expect to install SSPF across GM Global.