“SYSPRO has been working really well for our business. It has automated the handoff between systems throughout our facilities and is at the center of all our core manufacturing and business processes.”
– Kevin Tucker – Director of IT and Business Systems, Active Exhaust
Active Exhaust Corp. is a Canadian company founded in 1958 that tests, designs and manufactures exhaust systems that are used globally within a range of vehicles. They are an ISO9001 certified company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with manufacturing facilities in North America and South East Asia to support their global OEM customers. Active Exhaust addresses a variety of engineering challenges for their customers such as Emission Compliance, Environmental Performance, Acoustic Performance, Thermal Management and enhancing Overall Product Performance.
The Business Challenge
Active Exhaust has grown tremendously over the past ten years and needed to scale their operations in order to facilitate this growth. Across their business they were using multiple custom applications for specific aspects of their production lifecycle. Operators at various stages had to rely on data and approvals from different sources and, if that was unavailable, production would be delayed or even come to a halt. Active Exhaust needed more control and a comprehensive view of their overall production and prototyping process. As well, they were looking for a system that enabled different parts of their business to communicate with each other seamlessly in an autonomous way. This interoperability across services would help them gain real-time control over their manufacturing processes. They also needed a system flexible enough to support their custom processes, automation and data-driven decision making.
Active Exhaust chose SYSPRO ERP and worked with SYSPRO’s partner SHEA Global to eliminate numerous manual processes, setup automated workflows and implement quality gates across their operations in order to error-proof the business processes. With SYSPRO, Active Exhaust got the ability to integrate with the various third-party applications that they use throughout their business. In addition, SYSPRO enabled them to clearly see the progression of work across the different stages of the business processes.
Today, Active Exhaust has complete enterprise-wide visibility which has allowed them to reduce waste, dramatically decrease the number / magnitude of errors, automate repetitive processes and improve accuracy from quoting through design to shipping.
Flexibility and automation are necessities for peak efficiency
Active Exhaust has achieved peak efficiency by driving automation through their organization. For example, in the fabrication part of Active Exhaust’s business, they have to create a ‘first off’ – a first good product that validates the machine is properly set up, and that the product quality meets the desired specifications. This ‘first off’ is validated and then it is signed off digitally. This puts the desired quality gate in place so that production starts only after necessary approvals have been received. Active Exhaust did not want their operators to toggle through different screens and systems. They wanted a simple workflow method of obtaining the necessary approvals based upon the instructions that are in place to start the production job. Now, with the SYSPRO e.NET integration tools, operators have this information on a single screen.
“We think of different applications as a family of applications that need to coexist with each other – in a good family, there is free flow of information across all members with just the right amount of oversight. Interoperability for us meant being able to get the right information at the right time for the right person,” said Kevin Tucker, Director of IT and Business Systems at Active Exhaust.
“SYSPRO has enabled us to create a process where we now have everything labeled and all jobs can be scanned to start, labelled appropriately and scanned to move. The label is like a license plate that can help BINS flow safely through the entire production process. We can stop and start a BIN and understand if there is waste within the process. We use SYSPRO’s native functionalities and augment them wherever needed to meet our needs. SYSPRO is very flexible because the Business Objects are designed to give us flexibility while maintaining the integrity of the system”, he added
Making good decisions throughout the process improves quality
Active Exhaust was able to create quality gates across their entire manufacturing process to avoid bad quality products from moving down or across the production line. If a product goes through their paint line and they discover issues with it, it then goes for rework or is rejected before it can be packaged and shipped to the customer. At different stages in this process, the SYSPRO e.NET integration tools are used to update the information systems so that at different points in the manufacturing process, progression of work can be clearly seen by operators, engineers, project managers and supervisory staff.
“For us, quality is making good decisions throughout our business process and, for it to be effective, the right people have to be able to make the right decisions at the right time. So, we have tried to build quality into the process versus spending time and resources on inspecting and incurring a lot of problems after the fact. Our focus is to keep problems away from our customer.
The level of support that SHEA Global has extended throughout our digital transformation process has been great. We reach out to them whenever we need support, because we know they have skilled people that will go the extra mile to solve the problem”, said Kevin Tucker. Active Exhaust’s operations group has greatly benefited from the integration between SYSPRO and their custom Shop Floor Control application by simplifying processes, avoiding rework, reducing scrap and gaining complete control of their manufacturing process