Leading U.S. tubing manufacturer improved business processes automation using custom software development service.
Customer is a leader in providing superior coiled tubing products and services to the well-servicing industry. It manufactures tubing products to industry standards and customer specifications with high quality.
Before starting custom software development out of the box vendor ERP system has been used to automate several business processes, however it was not applicable for the overall process improvement. It was many paper documents and paper archive, manual quality matrix testing and calculation, and semi-manual inventory process.
Tubing manufacturing and distribution is a complicated process that involves multiple internal and external parties and different technological operations.
Upon manufacturing, string is going through complex service workflow that includes but is not limited to chemical tests, re-spooling, cutting, milling, butt welding, hydro tests, up to shipping etc.
It was provides custom software solution and integration services for all the business processes in the company
The complex workflows are covered by new software system. It consists of the following main modules:
Sales system uses for the planned and actual revenue summary and details. It has customer enquiries part – allows to maintain enquiries and make sales decisions and revenue view – provides data for revenue analysis. Shows current, next and future months. It is possible to monitor sales life cycle, due date tracking, and history.
Production system covers production queues and operations, from creating requests for strip slitting to the end of string milling. String planning, production step monitoring, location in the yard tracking, are the key features in production system. Production module is integrated with other system’s modules and includes initial and final quality test.
Operations Quality covers various measurements, from coils receipt to bias welds quality checks. It includes digital radiography exams, hydrostatic pressure testing, and electromagnetic inspection. Quality control is performed according different specifications and might be used from templates or setup from the scratch. Testing process might include lab, stress, and crash testing, with result integration.
Service uses plans and tracks execution of the string servicing operations. There are a lot of service types with different workflows that might be configured instantly from admin panel. Service procedures expand quality control process during manufacturing process, as well it is used in post-sales and guarantee services.
Shipping system tracks shipment preparations and delivery. It allows recording and tracking of different steps occurring with each shipment. The main idea of shipping process tracking is ensuring that all parts/materials are included, all shipping standards/checks are followed etc. The shipping process is a verification process, and not linear, as some phases in the cycle may occur at the same time.
Spools tracks receiving, usage and shipments of the wooden and metal spools with coils, strips, strings or empty ones. The module integrated with RFID sensor for convenient tracking over the yard. All the tubing manufacturing, service and shipping activities heavily rely on the spools storage. It is important to use spools with proper parameters, such as dimensions, maximum weight, durability etc., for smooth and safe operations.
Material Handling application tracks items placement over the territory and stores, records requests for movements. System tracks the material locations over the territory, the move requests and completed material moves. It is used to assist both the office personnel and the workers who perform actual material moves on the forklift cars.
Alerts tracks special critical and informational conditions in all applications, sends email notifications, provides issue detail lists with access to respective issues. There are two types of alerts: informational and action required, that might block all production processes. There is a possibility for online adjustment and creation new alerts from web admin panel.
Spec Metrics is a flexible set of various conditions that determine if particular measurements (wall width, hardness, seam size, chemical concentrations) are within allowed range or not. It consists from generic type of specifications – reused for different strings and special – created specifically for some strings. Module provides automatically possibilities to check for the conditions.
The OSC subsystem informs the users about Out-of-Spec Conditions, allowing taking decisions. It ensures that product which does not conform to specified requirements is properly detected, identified and documented to prevent unintended use. There are many different OSC cases, involving different workflows, decision makers and available actions.
This custom software for business processes automation has the following features:
- User Interface designed for desktop PC and mobile/tablet devices;
- Compatibility with an application controlling mechanical tests hardware (testing steel samples for tensile, yield etc.);
- Custom online reporting system in each module;
- Strict security policies, permissions, and roles;
- Robust and instant alerting system;
- Open and extensible architecture allowing for further improvements and third-party solutions;
- Integration with the variety of vendor ERP systems as well as with specialized lab and process control equipment devices.
The system is three-tier web based application installed in customer's local private network, and uses following technologies:
- .NET Framework 4.5;
- IIS 7.5;
- MS SQL Server 2012 with Reporting Services;
- Windows Server 2008 R2;
- .NET Compact Framework 3.5.
Custom software improved productivity in the following areas:
- Time spent on quality control procedures;
- Time spent on inventory tracking;
- Time spent on service/shipment planning and tracking;
- Milling optimization;
- Postsales service improvement;
- Considerably reduced human errors factor in all the operations.
There are several new modules currently in development and future plans:
- Business Intelligence (BI) module with SharePoint integration;
- Automation with supplier’s software and documentation;
- Integration with new hydrostatic equipment.
The decision to use custom software development service instead of implementing modern ERP was made by the company to a large extent because of financial reasons.
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