Case Study - CoorsTek
CoorsTek is a global leader in technical ceramics. With over 50 locations worldwide, they manufacture advanced ceramic components for virtually every industry.
The purpose of the Project
CoorsTek sites are highly machine-centric, with operators operating up to four machines at once. These machines produce parts to very high accuracies (thousands of an inch) and run highly automated. CoorsTek’s sites run 24×7, so having a high-quality maintenance program is essential to keep up with demand. They used a home-grown maintenance solution called “Tracker”, which has outgrown its original purpose and could not efficiently track labor or manage spare parts. CoorsTek also selected Apriso to be the default shop-floor applications which they plan to roll out and move from the QAD ERP instance to a future ERP system over the next few years, so they needed a solution that can accommodate this move and their vision.
The main goal of the project was to replace the Tracker solution with Apriso maintenance, manage spare parts, and set up the environment for rapid growth in two areas:
Roll out the maintenance solution to other plants.
Expand the Apriso solution to include Production, Quality, Warehouse, and other departments.
Project highlights and key takeaways:
The project used Agile from Day 1
Centralized Solution – many sites running on a single server
Key Takeaways and Lessons Learned:
Due to the extensive customer extensions required, the Andea team ran a Kanban-style approach to the project. It enabled Andea to plan in a reduced number of sprints and reduce the number of meetings needed. The result was delivery of 320% of the original project scope, on time and within budget.
The agile approach allowed CoorsTek to add new and enhanced features, but it blurred the finish line at times. It is essential to estimate all features (user stories) and tasks (including bugs) as early and as often as possible to see the project’s overall status, track the burndown, and derive the project delivery dates.
Prioritization is the key to success. The QA Engineers added a priority to the bugs found, which blocked their testing progress and the ability to release functionality. The entire team monitored a dashboard, and any critical bugs were treated as priority zero, meaning the developers worked on these first. This ensured functionality was not left half tested; bug fixes had a much quicker turnaround, and was all done with reduced development time and effort.
Communication Coorstek – Andea
Early on, William, the Project Lead from CoorsTek, spent a week in the Andea office working alongside the development team to receive Apriso platform and solution development training. This strengthened the Customer’s product and solution knowledge and helped build credibility and trust with Andea.
Andea Team communicated internally and with the CoorsTek as often as possible. Andea tracked all requirements, test cases, and their execution in the CoorsTek development portal so they could see the progress and coverage at any time. During the project status update meetings, the Andea team also used a project dashboard to track critical project KPI’s. It was very polarising and quickly drove action and priority, especially around what bugs needed to be fixed and when.
CoorsTek started working with Andea after they were highly recommended due to their extensive experience in both the Apriso platform and manufacturing software in general. It was clear very early on that this recommendation was warranted as Andea exceeded our expectations both in what they produced and how they did it. We, as a combined team, successfully completed our implementation under budget with over 300% of the planned scope. I’m very excited about our future partnership and I look forward to implementing our complete manufacturing solution globally.
Brian Frimel, Director Manufacturing IT at Coorstek