Ceres Power Holdings PLC develops fuel cell technology that works with natural gas to generate electricity. This can be installed as part of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit to generate heat for hot water and central heating, as well as electricity for general use in homes and businesses.
Ceres Power manufacturing processes have many operations and complex routings. After an initial phase of product development, Ceres Power realised that its paper-based, spreadsheet-centric systems would not support its ambition in the longer term.
The company needed to automate its processes to scale up future production and reviewed the MES market for a solution to meet their licensing and scalability requirements. Ceres Power chose Shopfloor-Online and after an initial design phase, the MES system was implemented in a staged approach in each of the three production departments: materials preparation, cell production and assembly.
Shopfloor-Online MES was configured to record required items in the materials preparation department including products, routings, bill of materials (BOM) and quality checks. The MES interfaces with the ERP system so that materials can be transferred to Shopfloor-Online when they are available to use.
The Cell Production includes as many as 20 simultaneous processes in a specific sequence, which the MES reflects with further master data.
Operators scan all parts as they are being consumed in production allowing the MES to provide instant visibility of WIPs. It also supports inventory consumption rules to prevent aged material being wastefully scrapped.
Ceres Power Holdings PLC is world-leading developer of low cost, next generation fuel cell technology. The steel cells are used in decentralised energy products to enable improved power generation in homes and businesses: reducing energy costs, lowering CO2 emissions, increasing efficiency and improving energy security and reliability.
"We needed an MES system that could deal with the changes we are making to the product and its processes but also one that can evolve with us as we enter the volume production phase at a later stage."
Ananda Mello-Costa, Quality Manager