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Alpar Metal's IT Manager Serpil Altaş, who takes canias4.0 technologies as a guide in her digital transformation journey, explained her company's Industry 4.0 vision, the work they carry out with canias4.0 and their future goals. Altaş said, “With its flexible structure and parametric management, caniasERP, which we include all our processes, forms the center of our business process management like a core. We integrated the production data we collected with canias4.0 IoT around this center. Afterwards, we made a connection to the same center with the business intelligence module, and gained the ability to analyze the data we have and to look at our strategic decisions from different angles. canias4.0 Technologies provided a great advantage to our company in terms of both creating big data with a single tool and managing the system by interpreting this data!”
Can we learn briefly about the establishment story of Alpar Metal? What is the size and place it has reached in the sector since its establishment?
Alpar Metal is a company that has completely changed since its establishment in 1998. When it was founded in 1998, its main production was firefighting equipment, while its high-pressure casting and machining activities were only production processes. Especially in the change process that started after 2005 and accelerated after 2012, these processes became Alpar's area of expertise. The production of firefighting equipment has almost turned into a side line of business. Alpar has become a company with a high level of expertise, technology and automation in casting and machining, with the technology move that continued after 2015, on the basis of automation and digitalization laid in 2012. Thin-walled structural parts and kinematic parts make up the majority of the product range in the automotive industry. Aiming for the best quality and the most challenging projects since its establishment, Alpar does not aim to be the biggest today as it was the first day. It is not included in the group of large foundries in terms of tonnage and number of castings. The aim of the company is to exist in projects with high added value, such as high precision, special alloys, multiple processes, which many competitors are unlikely to achieve. As a result of the planned development and marketing activities carried out in 2008 and after in line with these targets, Alpar is a sought-after supplier in the super sports cars and convertible cars market, and is rapidly developing in the field of e-mobility. Today, it is a company that exports around 90 percent, serves the automotive industry at a rate of 65 percent, and the machinery and automation parts industries that require high precision with its remaining capacity. While there are all Europe, China, USA and Mexico among the shipping points of the company, almost all of the companies that company work with are western European based companies, especially in Germany.
What were the most important turning points in your growth?
The most important turning point in the growth and strategy change of our company was the global economic crisis in 2008. The continuation of highly specialized works without any interruption during this crisis showed how stable the market for this type of product was and developed the idea that such products should not be part of the product range, but almost all. Again in the same period, the rapid recovery of international markets led to the conclusion that more importance should be given to the exported products. The development and transformation move that was initiated with this strategy change started to show its effect in 2015 and after. In this development and transformation process, it has been understood that automation, digitalization and Industry 4.0 are not a luxury but a necessity. Especially in the last two years, thanks to the uninterrupted transfer of data to the ERP system of the production area with canias4.0 technologies and the interpretation of the data with the application of business intelligence, quality, customer ppm and of course our internal efficiencies have moved to a different point at a very high speed. This not only brought the value of Alpar to the next level in terms of our customer point, but also provided a significant improvement in the profitability data, which is the most important goal of a business.
Can you tell us about your company's digital transformation vision? What steps have you taken towards Industry 4.0?
Digital transformation is one of our priorities, which is among our company goals and supported by the management. We have a roadmap to increase our digital maturity level. In the triangle of Human - Process - Technology, we are trying to prevent the negative impact of the human factor on processes with technology. In this context, we benefit from technology in important areas such as robotic automation applications and error-free production processes, quality control applications with our production systems in live interaction with our ERP software, productivity monitoring of operations by monitoring the process data of production work centers live with our ERP software, live information flow in emergencies such as breakdowns/stops, monitoring and linking production and shipment, and stock management applications.
What were your reasons for choosing IAS and canias4.0? Did IAS's offering of integrated solutions such as ERP, IoT and cloud with canias4.0 have an impact on your choice?
We met IAS and canias4.0 Technologies during the ERP selection phase, as a result of our research. Considering that IAS and canias 4.0 are capable of meeting our business needs, we carried out studies to establish and disseminate the ERP culture as a first step. We started working for ERP with canias4.0 but later it became a tool that we also use for IoT and business intelligence solutions. ERP, in which we included all processes with its flexible structure and parametric management, remained as a center like a core, and we integrated the production data we collected with IoT around this center. Afterwards, we made a connection to the same center with the business intelligence module, and gained the ability to analyze the data we have and to look at our strategic decisions from different angles. Both creating big data and interpreting this data with a single tool provide great advantages for the management of the system.
What are your sectoral needs and what kind of solutions were offered to you? Did canias4.0 technologies respond to your sectoral needs as you expected?
We can find answers to all processes in canias4.0 in accordance with our current quality system, IATF 16949 standard. We manage our customer orders with EDI, we can present quality data to our customers instantly, and we see concretely that this increases customer satisfaction.
Can you tell us about your canias4.0 IoT project?
In the IoT project, we aimed to achieve full automation by obtaining automatic data from the machines and combining these data in the production management we currently follow. For this, we started to take the data instantly in all of our machining and casting machines and process it integratedly in our production processes. In this way, we focused on measuring production efficiency in a healthy way and improving our failing aspects. In the project, we continue to develop automation studies in our manual work centers.
Have you made any special developments for your company in your caniasERP and IoT projects? What has been done?
Almost all of our products that we produce for automotive are produced as right and left, and they are produced at the same time in our machines. In fact, in some of our business centers, different products are produced at the same time. For these scenarios, improvements were made that serve our production efficiency calculations. We also carried out product defect-free studies by integrating process quality control and production.
How did you spend 2020? How was the first 5 months of 2021? What contribution has canias4.0 made in managing your business processes during the pandemic process?
Due to the pandemic that affected the whole world in April in 2020, we experienced the fluctuation in the automotive industry in parallel with the general. We started this year with a very active but very pleasant business volume due to the high demand from Europe to our country. We did not have any difficulties in terms of business processes during the pandemic process. Managing the processes digitally enabled rapid action to be taken, especially in remote works. canias4.0 is a location independent management tool that can also be used on mobile devices. For this reason, it was easy for us to adapt to the remote working system during the pandemic process.
What will your new projects and investments be this year? Do you have any projects that you target with canias4.0?
By using canias4.0, we aim to take finite capacity planning and scheduling studies one level higher. We are preparing an infrastructure that will instantly point the right decision in our investment plans and possible production projects.
Would you recommend canias4.0? Why is that?
Of course, our main hero in our digital transformation story is caniasERP. canias4.0 technologies are a companion that strengthens our hand in this journey. canias4.0 provides a fast adaptation to the needs of the time. It follows the trends and is ready when you need it. It allows us to raise our digital maturity level as much as we want.