Graphic Packaging International

Global paperboard and paper-based packaging manufacturer integrates RFgen mobile data collection and ERP integration solutions to overcome inefficiencies and increase productivity. 

Graphic Packaging International (GPI), a Fortune 500 company, is a leading international manufacturer of paperboard and paper-based packaging for prominent brands spanning the food, beverage, household, personal care, foodservice and pet care sectors. With a legacy history of over 100 years, the company prides itself on its innovative approach, strategic use of renewable, recycled and recyclable materials and impeccable end-product quality. 

The Challenge

Graphic Packaging International is a leading international manufacturer of paperboard and paper-based packaging for prominent brands spanning the food, beverage, household, personal care, foodservice and pet care sectors.

To keep up with increasing demand and future expansion, GPI knew they needed to replace their legacy shop floor system and manual data entry processes with a modern, scalable solution. The solution would have to mitigate current operational deficiencies with enhanced automation and mobility, and provide support for a potential migration to SAP S/4HANA.

The task force assigned to investigate possible solutions quickly determined that they would need to implement something that was already SAP-certified for a more seamless integration with their ERP and with minimized downtime during the transition, which led them immediately to RFgen. 

RFgen Mobile Foundations for SAP integrates with any SAP deployment, cloud or on premise and supports single-tier, two-tier and multi-tier ERP landscapes. With zero footprint on the SAP environment, RFgen Mobile Foundations for SAP collects and communicates data from almost any device, all while transacting against existing business rules using the SAP database–a big advantage for GPI. This additional functionality unlocks a 25-percent increase in efficiency and 30-percent increase in productivity for powerful gains in critical supply chain processes. 

Since GPI planned to upgrade their international manufacturing facilities, they also needed a solution that could work seamlessly with multiple languages, including English, French Canadian, French, UK English, Catalan, Spanish, Dutch, German and Canadian English.

When RFgen's consultants showed up onsite, GPI was immediately impressed by how thoroughly they already understood the intricacies of SAP and could intuitively anticipate GPI's unique integration needs. 

The Solution

Graphic Packaging International used RFgen for high availability data collection enable work to continue, even while SAP connectivity was down for planned maintenance.

Recognizing its numerous benefits, GPI quickly chose to implement RFgen's Mobile Foundations for SAP on a roll out basis, beginning with its North American manufacturing facilities. After RFgen's SAP consultants completed the initial training, GPI was able to send their own team of RFgen-experts to train the next manufacturing facilities, each averaging about 150 users, on its use, with 80-percent less time spent on training. 

One main goal was to use RFgen to perform data replication between the main SAP instance and each plant individually to minimize data loss in the event of system outages. With RFgen, GPI was able to achieve this replication for:

  • Batch managed materials
  • All bin details
  • Customer materials
  • Static data such as work centers and reason codes
  • Production order details
  • Material descriptions

In the event of an outage, GPI also created an RFgen application to confirm SAP's availability and ensure the backlog of queued transactions was flushed before going back online, preventing any duplicate transactions. 

In addition, GPI chose to also install the following RFgen applications:

  • Log-on Form: Employees receive an individualized login prompt upon starting a device. Once the appropriate username and password are entered, users are sent directly to the pre-determined work screen such as warehouse, shop floor, palletizer, label validation, supervisor or IPR. If multiple roles are assigned, users will instead see a menu with all available options to choose from.
  • Palletizer Confirmation: Users scan or enter an order number followed by the work center they are assigned and if the information matches, the material and description for that operation are displayed. The user then populates all of the required fields and once submitted, a pallet label prints then a confirmation is sent to SAP. 
  • Bin Transfer: The user views a screen with batch and material fields. When the material validates successfully against SAP, users see a description of the material. Then, once a quantity is entered and verified, users enter the bin they are transferring the material to and submit the transfer. 
  • Label Validator: Users scan or enter a batch which then calls a custom RFC for validation. Once accepted, the screen clears and focus returns to the batch field. The result is stored in an SQL table for reporting. 
  • Reprint Label: The user begins by scanning/entering a batch, which validates against in-stock quantity. Then the material, description, batch quantity and unit of measure will display. Users can then print using the printer icon. 
  • Shop Floor: This transaction supports several functions, including separate forms for: main/home screen, goods issue, component scrap, good issue (reversal), process scrap, confirmation, time entry, activity, end of shift, change user and corrections. 

The Benefits

Today, GPI has successfully upgraded their facilities with RFgen at 25 of their North American sites, with plans to expand into their international production sites after 2020.

User acceptance of the new program has also been extremely high.

Continue reading about companies who achieved success with RFgen for SAP.

 

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