Lincoln was approaching the year 2000 with non-compliant, legacy systems running its plant operations. Lincoln required a system which would support its future business processes, re-engineering efforts for implementing supply chain management. Lincoln Electric also had sophisticated piecework processes which were a hallmark of its incentive programs. Finally, Lincoln required a system that could support a different MES process at each of its major plants.
Lincoln Electric approached CIM Vision to supply an MES that was both flexible and Y2K compliant. Lincoln looked to CIM Vision because of its certified SAP interface, and on the recommendation of the project team at AMP Inc., another CIM Vision customer using SAP. While reviewing the CIM Vision MES solution, Lincoln identified additional benefits from the availability of the CIM+ Time Manager which integrates with Factory Manager. Lincoln had not identified a solution to its attendance software issues. CIM Vision's integrated solution would replace a non-Y2K compliant Kronos installation, integrated to customized COPICS pay routines and some manual calculation of Lincoln's piecework cards. In addition, the configurable CIM+ Time Manager and Factory modules would handle differences in Lincoln's divisional pay policies. Finally, all time and labor data, such as total hours and piecework rates, could be interfaced with Lincoln's external payroll providers.
The CIM+ Manufacturing Execution System will generate Lincoln's specialized "intelligent" serial numbers, and will interface with Loftware label software in generating shipping labels for a wide variety of products. Lincoln Electric realized that they could use the expertise of CIM+ in creating an MES front-end to SAP, exercising bar coding and application functionality in unique ways for shop floor and time and attendance data management. Consequently, the manufacturing execution team agreed to a project decision to select SAP as Lincoln's ERP system. This was the first time CIM Vision was a key influence in helping SAP to be selected by a customer.
A Successful Rollout
The time and attendance installation at Lincoln's Harris Calorific division was the beginning of the project's first phase. The Time Manager implementation took eight weeks and the Harris site went "live" in September of 1998. The project team followed with Time Manager at the Toronto operations of Lincoln Electric Canada Limited, going "live" in January 1999. The first MES system installation utilizing CIM+ Factory Manager was carried out at the Harris Calorific division in February of 1999, followed with Toronto in April 1999. Lincoln's remaining plants implemented CIM+ over the second and third quarters of 1999, with CIM+ Factory and Time Manager for Lincoln Electric's four Cleveland, OH plants over the course of June, July, and August of 1999.