Merisant produces billions of packets of Equal and other brands of sweeteners each year, but it didn’t have a means to track floor production information on any of its brands in real time. The company had deployed SAP’s enterprise resource planning software throughout its manufacturing operations worldwide, but complications with an existing barcode system made it difficult to feed accurate production-line data directly into the SAP software. That could have significant effects on Merisant’s ability to maintain a top-notch, effective supply chain.
To address the problem at its Manteno, IL plant, which provides product for North American distribution, the manufacturer implemented Acsis ProducTrak MES data collection and wireless integration software from Acsis Inc., along with barcoding hardware from Intermec Technologies Corp. Now data feeds right into the SAP system from handhelds, vehicle-mounted and fixed scanners, and weight scales and other process equipment.
Merisant’s previous barcoding system, which had become outdated and unreliable, led to redundancy throughout its workflow with manual paperwork, said Donald Maier, logistics lead for Merisant. “Primarily, we were using the barcoding as a glorified label maker. All the information wasn’t being transmitted into SAP, and we had to go back manually and verify.”
The Acsis software ensures data integrity on a 24 by 7 basis, he said. It validates and makes available information entered into the system even during SAP maintenance periods or network outages. With the system in place, Merisant is able to track and complete real-time production and distribution of more than 50 million Equal packets a day.
The system provides automated receipt of raw materials and keeps track of them through the manufacturing process and the distribution flow of packaged products to a warehouse and on to shipping. The Acsis solution also provides the following additional transactions for Merisant: Goods Receipts to Procurement, Goods Receipts to Production Order, SLOC to SLOC, Cycle Counting, Reprint Label, Load Reports, and Close Reports, which utilizes Crystal Reports.
For more information on Acsis’ comprehensive Enterprise Serialization, Supply Chain and Shop Floor enterprise solutions for companies in the Life Sciences, Chemical, Food & Beverage and Industrial markets, please contact us at 856.673.3000 or visit our website at acsisinc.com.