Kuopio-based firm Savon Sellu Oy wanted to improve information flow at its plant. The company introduced Digia's ProDiary application, which enables employees to check production events at the plant. This user-friendly digital production diary has also been integrated into the ERP system, thereby reducing overlapping work.
ProDiary is an important tool against the eternal problem of information not reaching people. This application improves information flow between departments and production units, both from the operator level to the managerial level and vice versa.
Martti Laatikainen, Operations Manager, Savon Sello Oy
Savon Sellu's plant in Kuopio produces about 270,000 tons of corrugated cardboard per year. Work is carried out in five uninterrupted 12-hour shifts. At changeovers, the events of the previous shift are usually communicated verbally from one employee to another.
However, when it comes to smooth work flow and occupational safety, it's important for personnel's knowledge of events at the plant to extend beyond the previous shift. Savon Sellu now has Digia ProDiary at its disposal to improve information flow. This digital production diary helps personnel form a picture of the current situation at the plant.
“ProDiary displays seven days of events with just one click. When I come to work on Mondays, I check the application to see what happened over the weekend,” says Martti Laatikainen, an operations manager at Savon Sellu Oy.
Savon Sellu Oy introduced ProDiary in 2013. Before this, control room personnel would record events by hand in lined notepads. There was also an electronic logging system in use, but it lacked a search function. As such, the system didn't work at operator level either and therefore wasn't of use to all employees.
Now the lined notepads and old systems are a thing of the past. Events, faults and observations are recorded in a digital production diary instead.
“ProDiary is an important tool against the eternal problem of information not reaching people. This application improves information flow between departments and production units, both from the operator level to the managerial level and vice versa,” says Laatikainen.
“It's paramount that personnel enter events and observations into the application. That's why we've focused on making ProDiary as user-friendly as possible,” says Laatikainen.
Personnel's involvement in the project has been very important in ensuring good usability.
“Our employees were already involved at the design stage. They explained what they wanted from the application, which functions they thought were good, and how they'd like the system to look.”
It was easy to find a suitable screenview for Savon Sellu's purposes simply by adjusting the application's settings. The plant's own processes are shown using familiar names, which makes it easier to start using the programme. Plenty of training was also given when the application was introduced, to ensure it was used effectively from the outset.
“We arranged training sessions at the plant for every shift, and made sure that some managerial personnel were highly trained in using the application. Some of our employees were already familiar with it from their previous employers, so they were also able to provide guidance,” says Laatikainen.
“This is a great app – if you can use a computer and a browser, you can also use ProDiary,” he adds.
One of the additional ProDiary features introduced at Savon Sellu was integration into the plant's ERP system. Integration sought to improve user-friendliness and reduce overlapping work.
“For example, when someone enters a fault into ProDiary, it will also be automatically recorded in the ERP system,” says Laatikainen.
“When you only have to make one entry, people are more likely to record faults and observations. ProDiary is also easier and quicker to use than the ERP system.”
Thanks to the connection between ProDiary and the ERP system, a variety of cause-and-effect relationships become easier to see, enabling production to make developments and boost efficiency.
ProDiary has been well received by Savon Sellu personnel. Application development is, however, a continual process.
“Employees are still suggesting improvements, and these have also been implemented whenever possible,” says Laatikainen.
One example of an idea that has been implemented is the ability to export data from the system in Excel format. More customisations are already under consideration.
“Our aim is to improve process safety and, for example, create a fire alarm disconnection register in the system. We can then inform personnel if a particular fire alarm has been disconnected due to, for example, a fault or maintenance,” says Laatikainen.