RTS Workshop, held on February 28th, was dedicated to SmartProduction and the latest news from Forlì software house, that recently joined the TSS Group. Many customers and prospects were present and interested to explore the software solutions dedicated to the corrugated cardboard market
The news dates back to early February and we were among the very first to communicate it on our website www.converter.it: “RTS has joined Total Specific Solutions (TSS)”. TSS is part of Constellation Software Inc. (CSI), a company listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange.
This step was fundamental to guarantee the future growth of the Forlì software house founded in the early 1980s by Gastone Partisani and Mauro Mercadante, and as confirmed by Partisani, “it is a news destined to change the corporate life of our society and collaborators since we are now part of a multinational group, CSI, which invoices 3 billion dollars a year, with investments in software companies in various sectors.
TSS has allowed us to realize a dream, to guarantee a rosy and above all solid and exciting future to RTS and consequently to our customers”, says Partisani, in his new role as CEO. Nothing changes for RTS operations, guaranteeing continuity with historical and new customers.
The characteristic of TSS is exactly this: acquiring leading companies in the respective countries and highly specialized in so-called vertical markets, guaranteeing resources and skills for growth, but without interfering in the everyday life of work, in full respect of a decentralized business model that stimulates the entrepreneurial spirit of local offices.
Software for life
Jurgen Thomaes intervened as representative of TSS, who visited some customers with the occasion, for a first direct contact with the Italian market.
“TSS is the largest vertical market software company based in Benelux and directly controlled companies in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Scandinavia, Romania, France and Spain. We are present in the vertical markets of health, publishing administration, finance, professional offices, fashion, real estate, automotive, retail, paper industry and now also in corrugated cardboard sector”, says Thomaes. TSS refers to the Canadian company CSI, which relies heavily on the Benelux company to grow significantly in Europe.
Joining such a large and structured group as TSS/CSI will allow a company like RTS to be able to count on a sharing of best-practices, to collaborate with other companies, to have access to a broad base of technologies and solutions all aimed at creating software with long-term focus.
“For our customers nothing will change, but rather I believe that this new corporate situation will be a benefit for them”, adds Partisani, “in fact CSI/TSS will actively support us in the development of new solutions and services dedicated to the corrugated cardboard supply chain. Customers will be invited to participate in innovations through a process of value co-creation, as in the past, and for them the contacts in RTS and the people with whom they will interface from now on will be the same as always”.
Strategic synergies with leading companies
RTS also confirms the partnerships already undertaken for example with Zucchetti regarding the integration of the “finance” modules and document archiving within its own system, but also the focus on an open ERP, specific for the corrugated board market and the Global platform as a tool for system integration, as well as the integration of specific kits for communication with MES systems.
“As regards the choice of the partner for the MES part, we decided to rely on the company DR Solutions, owned by Rainer Neugebauer and Daniel Weigland and their software dr.corr, a solution born from the experience in the development of management systems of production”, concludes Partisani, thanks to the corporate mission, according which RTS wants to continue to seek out the best solutions on the market to integrate and manage within a suite capable of managing production data, programming, data collection, transport module, Analysis business intelligence, dashboard KPIs.
RTS Global platform, facilitator towards the future
Eng. Robertino Piazza had the task of explaining how RTS Global platform was born, an integration environment that allows the development of new modules, features and solutions by making them cooperate with the solutions already in place in RTS. The simple and intuitive user interface, even in a mobile version, real-time integration with other systems and application business continuity are just some of the most interesting features of the new Global platform. “One of the new solutions that fully exploits the potential of this new platform is what we call RTS Smart Production, an integrated suite of applications that allows us to manage and control all production processes.
The heart of this solution is the MES system, which deals with optimization, scheduling and data collection, along with many other integrated, vertical modules for transport optimization, quality control, and board feed control to machines. With this system of common data sharing, it is possible to insert any new application module, without interfering with the work of existing solutions, but integrating and enriching the platform with tools useful for the company’s working life”, concludes Eng. Piazza Finally, a not insignificant feature is that all this solution can be integrated with existing solutions both of partner companies and possibly also of other operators.
Dr.Corr told by his creator
Who could explain the functions of a program better than its creator? RTS has invited Rainer Neugebauer to describe the functions of the new program dedicated to scheduling and control of production in the corrugated cardboard sector.
Dr.corr collects the legacy of PC-Topp, which thanks to the valuable collaboration of RTS in over 25 years has reached 350 installations in 49 countries and after the creation of the new company in 2016, the first installation is carried out in 2017. To date, dr.corr has been installed in 22 production units.
The program has been completely developed from zero, thanks to a long experience in the corrugated cardboard sector, with modern technologies and tools, with the possibility also of guaranteeing multi-site operations with centralized scheduling. The automatic scheduling function is in progress, able to put the orders in optimal sequence for each machine and send all the information directly to the production. “We believe that dr.corr is the best solution on the market because thanks to 5 different algorithms followed at the same time, it is able to choose the best solutions, with a rationalization of combinations.
Furthermore, there are new features dedicated to the daily scheduling of the corrugator which is constantly updated to integrate new orders and to adapt to changes in planning. Within seconds, the programmer can try alternatives with less reels. The programmer has full control, can change the times and create his own simulations”, concludes Neugebauer.
To complete the intervention of Neugebauer, eng. Mauro Boatin, RTS’s expert consultant, has presented the new features and strengths of Dr.Corr, providing the present box factories with a detailed description of the program, with a live demo, focusing on the benefits that SmartProduction integration offers in addition to the MES.
Increase productivity through lean production
RTS’s approach to helping its customers in the digital transformation involves important changes in organization, processes and technology. With regards to the processes, in collaboration with Induvation company, which deals with continuous improvement, a project is proposed to the box-making customers called “Lean box 4.0” to offer the common customers complete and integrated solutions.
Specifically, a reference Lean structure was identified for management change in the corrugated cardboard industry with an integral approach to optimize the operating department, with the aim of creating a clean and tidy environment around the production line, where everything is in its place. “There are fairly simple but very effective improvements that can reduce startup times by up to 50%”, says Jan Bredereck of Induvation.
One of the procedures implemented by this partnership sees the scheduling code as the protagonist and how to be able to plan production in order to optimize start-up and also integrate logistics aspects. The concepts of lean production carried out by Induvation blend perfectly and indeed can find a perfect ally in RTS technological solutions, in order to standardize production methods and processes with the help of software. “There are several projects that we have carried out together with RTS at companies in the sector”, adds Jan, “and they have translated our information into computer languages into their systems to improve certain phases, from budgeting to delivery, passing along production or logistics”.
In lean production processes, to be successful it is essential to involve all the workers concerned so that the strategy is widely shared and accepted; only the perfect integration of technology and human resources can lead to winning results. But even lean production is constantly evolving so much that we are already talking about Lean 4.0; the combination of lean production and industry 4.0 leads from a managerial point of view to a complete vision of the path to follow. Staff involvement brings transparency and acceptance of change, eliminates fears and creates a working environment with motivated people who are open to new technologies.
“Together with RTS we have created a scheduling code divided by product variables, each of which has an impact on the machine set-up time. The variables can have a series of predefined values and the code is integrated into the technical data sheet. The automated solution reduces errors by freeing the plant manager from the task of programming. Furthermore, it is possible to instantly adapt the production schedule to urgent and unexpected events, respecting the best possible sequence and reducing the start-up times to the minimum. Moreover, it is possible to plan in advance the machine interlocking with all the necessary to follow the order, the shipment and the loading of the lines in order to optimize and control the process”, concludes Bredereck.