Demand for mill products especially in the metals and packaging industry is growing fast. This presents a good opportunity for the software vendors who cater to the needs of customers in these industries.

But these industries have some unique requirements, which are discussed throughout this article. Supply Chain Management Software which does planning and execution for manufacturing, transportation, distribution etc. for mills industry, needs to take care of these unique requirements.

Mills produce very different products than products, which are made in a typical process or discrete manufacturing. Mill products contain order specific attributes like width, surface finish, length, chemical composition, physical and chemical tolerance limits, standard product specification (either company specific or more common industry specific). Mill products are in form of coils, rolls, bundles etc. Finished mill products are made by operations such as rolling, side trimming, order length cutting, surface treatment etc.

Steel, other metals, paper, packaging material, textiles and some other similar products manufacturing industry segments constitute the mill industry. Each of these industry segments may have different set of unique requirements but all of them share some common operational and business similarity.

For example, a typical order may consist of product name, weight, material grade, width, surface treatment, length, roll / coil inner core diameter, roll / coil outer diameter etc. From this order information, number of rolls or coils for each order is calculated. Experiencing trim losses, product attributes with a lot of variation etc. are also common and these needs are to be addressed in the same way for all these industry segments.

Process Challenges:
Some of the process challenges include:

Huge number of Variant Product attributes: Whereas the total number of products may be small, the variation in product attributes leads to the need of maintaining huge data.

Trim Losses: Generally orders are produced by cutting from jumbo rolls or slabs. Due to this a lot of material wastage occurs in form of trim loss. The more number of trim machines on the processing line, the more trim waste will be produced. By trim losses, businesses loose a lot of money.
Inner cylinder change: In many cases an inner core is used on which the product is rolled. For different orders, diameter of this inner core may be different. So each time a different inner core with different diameter is required, the inner cylinder setup has to be changed. This leads to a lot of time getting wasted.

Machine setup for different width product: If machine is set for different width each time a order is processed, then a lot of time may go waste as machine setup time.

Changes in Orders: Many times one order consists of many lines as many products can be ordered in the same order. Whenever there is change in order, there is a chance of error as to whether a new line is to be added with that order or an existing line to be updated.

Container Stuffing: It is difficult to find out whether the complete order will fit inside a container or not at the time of taking an order. Sometimes a very small quantity is left after a container is full. This creates a lot of headache for the sales department.


The challenges mentioned above, pose a difficult proposition. Nevertheless, these challenges can be tackled.

Infinite number of Variant Product attributes for each product: When defining products in the software, a facility can be provided where infinite number of product attributes can be defined for each product.

Trim Optimization: Trim loss can be minimized by combining orders where the sum of widths in the orders closely matches the width of the jumbo roll or the slab. By optimizing trim losses, businesses can save a lot of money.

Sequencing Orders: To overcome Production Line Routing delays orders can be sequenced so that change over of machines can be minimized. The same technique is applied in other cases of change over like inner cylinder change over.

Multiple Output Planning: From cutting the same stock of rolls or slabs, many orders can be fulfilled from the same stock. This will save both trim loss as well as machine set up time.

Pegging: It takes into consideration multiple sales orders and keeps the information about the original order through all production levels. This technique enables to process multiple orders at the same time and yet keep information about products, work in process and orders all the time.

Changes in Orders: Whenever there are changes in orders, either new lines are to be created if there is some addition in order or existing lines to be updated depending on situation.

Container Stuffing: At the time of order taking, the sales person will be able to know whether the whole order can fit inside a container or not for shipping. Depending on this information, a customer can change the amount in his order so that the order can fit after request from the sales person.
Optimization Engine to your rescue:

Optimization Engine for mill industry fromTM Infynita a readymade tool for the mill industry's needs of production planning, scheduling & optimization. It can not only help you achieve the goals mentioned above, it will help you to reduce your manufacturing lead times substantially. Using Optimization EngineTM you can do scenario analysis, profitability analysis, product mix analysis, achieve capable to promise functionality and many more benefits.

Infynita Inc. Logo
Infynita Inc. Home Page
Corporate Structure
IT Services
Business Solutions
Technology Services
Case Studies
Contact Us
 Infynita Holdings
 Request For Proposal
 Request For Quotation
 Request For Information
 Infynita Inc. Corporate Flash Presentation
 Strategic Outsourcing White Paper
 Infynita Inc. Outsourcing Whitepaper
 Company Profile (PDF Brochure)
 Offshore Development Center (ODC) presentation
Flash walk-through of Infynita ODC services.
Offshore Outsourcing-ROI Calculator
Comparison between In-house, Onshore,Offshore and ODC ROI.
Infynita Talk
Infynita Monthly Ezine for offshore Outsourcing related issues.
Infynita Case Studies
A live projects case studies of Infynita.
Terms Of Use | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Contact Us | Resources | Web Mail
©2005 Infynita Inc. - Offshore Development Center
Contact Infynita Inc. for Offshore Outsourcing and Offshore Development Center services.