Case Study - IPG

Intertape Polymer Group Inc. is a packaging products and systems company based in Montreal, Canada, and Sarasota, Florida, that supplies retailers and manufacturers. The product range includes a variety of paper and film-based pressure-sensitive and water-activated tapes, stretch and shrink films, protective packaging, woven and non-woven products, and packaging machinery.
IPG has been using the DELMIA Apriso since Oct 2014 as their Manufacturing Execution System, and the solution is deployed in 5 production facilities. The MES scope includes key functionality like validating the availability of production resources, production order sequencing, production tracking, OEE tracking, scrap reporting, and inventory management.

Apriso is a mission-critical solution at IPG. We were running an older version of the Apriso platform that needed an upgrade. When identifying a partner, we needed a company that would help us minimize the risk of system downtimes and deliver reliable and quality solutions. We selected Andea for the job due to their extensive experience with the Apriso platform and a proven track record of completing multiple Apriso upgrade projects. They started the engagement by completing an upgrade assessment, which helped them identify the potential upgrade risks and plan how to mitigate them. With the help of Andea, we completed the upgrade project successfully without any major production disruptions.

Project Overview

For this project, Andea performed a system upgrade of the Apriso v9.6 MES platform to DELMIA Apriso 2020, including all development and configuration modifications required to synchronize existing functionalities with the upgraded platform. The upgrade was executed in stages, following Andea’s proven and tested strategy for MES system upgrades.

We began this project by assessing IPG’s production environment, customizations, and functionalities of the current MES solution and their database to extract data to accurately assess the project’s scope, timeline, risks, and estimated labor. This assessment took about 5 weeks to perform with 1 week of onsite interviews. The output of the assessment was an Upgrade Assessment Report and a project plan. IPG used both deliverables to obtain internal approvals for the project.
When the project was approved, we began by completing a technical upgrade of IPG’s Apriso solution. That included a setup of a ‘sandbox’ environment on which we performed an upgrade of a DB engine and Apriso platform. The technical upgrade allowed us to identify, fix, and test issues caused by the upgrade. We also used the upgraded sandbox to implement and test new functional enhancements.
Pre-Go Live
We prepared an Upgrade Kit, which included step-by-step upgrade instructions and all required fixes (delivered as GPM packages). The primary purpose of preparing an Upgrade Kit was to help reduce production downtime and decrease the upgrade's impact on IPG’s shop floor operations.
Go Live
It was time to go live with the IPG’s Apriso upgrade. We executed the upgrade in the first production site using everything we learned in previous project stages. After the upgrade, we provided 1-week of Hypercare support where our consultants addressed solution issues and monitored the solutions’ performance. The IPG team is now performing all solution upgrade activities on their remaining production sites with only on call support from the Andea team.

It’s never just a simple upgrade

You may be wondering why we went into such an effort to plan a “simple” system upgrade. DELMIA Apriso deployments are considered mission-critical systems that touch many different processes and have many integration points. Upgrading such systems is not a trivial task and if not planned accordingly, can lead to serious production disruptions. However, if planned well, Apriso MES upgrades can be performed in as little as 5-6 weeks with minimal impact on the production. The IPG’s upgrade project was a little more complex than most Apriso upgrades as we were upgrading their solution a full seven major releases which included some significant architectural changes. However, despite this added complexity with thorough planning and seamless execution, we delivered an upgraded solution in ten weeks (fifteen with the assessment) with minimal impact on production operations.