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INTERPIPE: Horizontal Integration – as a strategy to services customization

With the transition to global markets, Ukrainian leader of steel pipe INTERPIPE has faced considerable difficulties in better adapting its offer to customer requirements. For example, European customers did not need large volumes of pipes, they require a small batch of exact sizes.

Addressing this challenge required a complete restructuring of the production management system throughout the company. After all, it was about full re-engineering and automation of the long value chain – from order processing, through several manufacturing workshops at individual factories, and to the melting of blanks at the beginning of the cycle – the ‘Interpipe Steel’ plant. That is, in fact, INTERPIPE had to move from mass production of large lots to distributors’ warehouses, to individual orders of small lots with “just in time” delivery conditions.

This challenge was solved with the help of a new Smart.Factory production management system from the Ukrainian developer IT-Enterprise. The system includes MES functionality (Manufacturing Execution System) as well as APS, an Advanced production Planning & Scheduling system. This system made it possible to quickly and transparently coordinate the production schedules of the various units at 5 plants, and to ensure the production of small batches on a mass scale.

This example is illustrative for understanding the current challenges of industrial enterprises operating in global markets. The requirements for greater flexibility, time to market, services and better operational effectiveness of production are typical in a number of industries. More information about this project see here.

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