Northern Ireland’s Whale has gained new efficiencies with the implementation of Visual software and touchscreen displays from Open Business Solutions. The new paperless technology enhances the pump manufacturer’s Infor XA ERP system by providing up-to-date, accurate onscreen instructions to operatives on the shop-floor.

The web-based software provides full maintenance and control of operating procedures and work instructions. It allows instant component changes and when introducing new products, it simplifies the set-up of new procedures and instructions. It is also possible to replicate relevant assembly instructions and components from similar products rather than starting a new procedure and work instruction from scratch.

“We are saving time and labour, which in turn has enabled us to recoup the cost of our investment. The combination of Visual Factory with our Infor XA ERP software provides us with powerful tools for our type of manufacturing and it’s an approach I’d recommend to other manufacturing and engineering companies,” says Michael Brennan, Project Manager, Whale.

The system has improved the speed and accuracy of production as it displays full visual, systematic work instructions to the shop-floor personnel, which also improves productivity. Any changes to the products are advised instantly to the operators on their workstation touchscreens. This innovative way of working supports the company’s strict manufacturing standards and enables staff to focus on their work and not worry about changes in production and associated documentation, which has improved throughout.

Another advantage of the touchscreen-based system is the ability to show customers and other visitors that Whale has stringent operating procedures. This demonstrates Whale’s high level of control over its manufacturing processes and that it adheres to its procedures with clear and exacting visual instructions for its workforce.

Visual imports engineering data directly from the ERP system to create very detailed work instructions. These are much more detailed than the previous paper-based instructions and so improve accuracy and quality. Because the system is visual, shop-floor staff simply follow the instructions, recording that they have completed each stage on the touchscreen. This provides full visibility of the manufacturing line allowing management to monitor progress for all orders.

Whale® has led the way since the 1940s with groundbreaking pump design through to recent innovation leaps in intelligent control electronic pump systems and gas / electric heating systems for water and space in recreational vehicles. Whale is a well-known brand owned by Munster Simms Engineering Ltd with a reputation built on decades of high quality design expertise.