Symetal solves three complex planning puzzles with DELMIA Quintiq.

Produced in Greece for global use

Symetal S.A. is a highly export-oriented producer of aluminum foil and flexi-packaging materials. It provides diverse options to numerous companies, primarily in the food, tobacco and pharmaceutical sectors. Over 90% of its sales is to more than 60 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Far East, America and Australia.

Symetal owns two production facilities outside Athens — a rolling plant in Oinofyta, Viotia and a converting plant in Mandra, Attica. The rolling plant produces plain aluminum foil in a wide range of thicknesses and alloys for various uses such as flexible packaging, pharmaceutical and semi-rigid containers. The annual capacity of the rolling plant is 52,000 tons and of the converting plant, 26,000 tons.

The converting plant receives foil produced by the rolling plant and puts it through paper laminating and lacquer coating. The processed foil is used in the food production and pharmaceutical industries. It is also used to make the inner lining of cigarettes.

In such a diverse production environment, maximizing plant performance is the key to Symetal meeting its profit goals as its operations grew. To safeguard its leading position in the market, it sought a world-class planning and scheduling solution.

DELMIA Quintiq’s implementation methodology was one of the critical success factors for our strategic initiative to re-engineer our production process. Our partnership with DELMIA Quintiq has brought Symetal and Elval great operational and business improvements, as well as industry recognition.

Periklis Tsahageas
SCM Projects Manager and Viohalco APS Info Team Co-ordinator

Delay to market caused by manufacturing bottlenecks

The processing of rolled aluminum products requires planning of various production flows such as casting, hot-rolling, cold-rolling and finishing to be both flexible and transparent. At the beginning of the project, Elval and Symetal were operating the entire supply chain for foil products, starting from slab production.

Planning was done manually using spreadsheets — time-consuming work that made creating what-if scenarios almost impossible. As a result, order planning and S&OP supply planning were not optimized and bottlenecks were formed. Slitting patterns were created manually and the ability to frequently review this complex puzzle was limited, which led to sub-optimal results.

The complex processes were giving planners multiple challenges, which impacted the quality of plans and affected production delivery to customers. Manufacturing lead time, inclusive of foil stock production, was too long. The market was increasingly demanding for swift deliveries and higher accuracy in order delivery performance.

To improve its business, Symetal outlined a few key objectives: Reduce manufacturing lead time, improve delivery performance, maximize production volume and reduce inventory. A more optimal product mix was also on the list as that would help increase the company’s profitability.

The critical search to increase competitiveness

DELMIA Quintiq was chosen to help Symetal achieve those goals based on a few factors:

  • Deep knowledge of the aluminum industry. DELMIA Quintiq was set up 20 years ago to solve the planning puzzle of an aluminum hot mill operator. Planning for the aluminum industry remains one of DELMIA Quintiq’s core expertise
  • Full coverage of planning processes, from scheduling and order planning, to slitting optimization and S&OP
  • DELMIA Quintiq integrates seamlessly into Symetal’s existing IT environment with no complications or loss of data

At the top of the list in Symetal’s search for a solution was lead time reduction, which would help it increase on-time, in-full deliveries to customers.  The goals to achieve were:

Scheduling, production planning and S&OP

  • Reduce inventory and work in progress (WIP)
  • Increase resource utilization (supply chain)
  • Improve order fulfillment (company planning)
  • Improve the bottom line and financial results (macro planning)

Slitting optimization

  • Reduce scrap by finding better patterns and assigning new orders to existing patterns
  • Increase flexibility by quickly assigning new orders to existing or new patterns
  • Improve production efficiency by reducing knife settings