Centor is a leading global consumer packaging group and a leading global beverage can maker. The Berlin, Ohio plant manufactures plastic prescription pill containers and plastic packaging for liquid products, and it's one of several Centor facilities in North America now using Epicor Mattec MES-the Epicor real-time production monitoring and manufacturing execution system.

We have taken our systems to the next level. We use the Epicor Mattec MES system for everything across the board-from production, to quality and scheduling-and there are no limitations to the reports we can run.

Mitch Stein
Plant Manager | Centor

Advanced control

Production and process control has never been more advanced at Centor-Berlin than it is now, nor has the value of such control as a decision-making tool ever been more demonstrable. That's the assessment of Mitch Stein, plant manager, as he considers the impact that Epicor has had on his operations since it replaced the existing 20-year-old production monitoring application.

“We have taken our systems to the next level,” Stein said. “We use the Epicor Mattec MES system for everything across the board-from production, to quality and scheduling-and there are no limitations to the reports we can run. Our old system required a lot of manual intervention, but because of automation within the Epicor system, our reports are now populated with the most current data and in less time.”

Mattec MES monitors the Berlin facility's manufacturing environment, which consists of both injection-molding and stretch-blow-molding machines. Mattec MES also monitors several external systems, such as the plant's water-cooled chiller and resin hoppers.

Standardized data collection

According to Stein, Centor is moving toward making Mattec MES the primary production and process monitoring system used company-wide, allowing for more standardized data collection and reporting. In fact, the Centor plants presently utilizing Mattec MES already use a standardized overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) report, which was written by Epicor developers to determine OEE based on machine availability, performance efficiency, and the number of quality products produced.

“Mattec MES calculates OEE on every single cycle, which was unrealistic to do before, because of the huge time commitment required and the lack of real-time data,” Stein explained. “But now, every plant running the system can replicate that same report using the same key metrics.”

On the production and process side, Mattec MES monitors numerous parameters-including cycle time, downtime, fill time, mold temperatures, oil temperatures, and even valve pressures. Every significant variation from standards established through Mattec MES has potential bottom line impact.

“If a valve is beginning to fail, we're losing cycle time,” said Stein. “If we're not running at standard cycle time, we're losing money.”

“We use the software to stay vigilant,” continued Stein. Mattec MES is critical to the company's total productive maintenance (TPM) initiative, which places an emphasis on not only minimizing machine downtime, but also reducing degradation in machine performance throughout its maintenance cycle. “Mattec MES helps us stay on top of everything on the floor. For instance, we're able to monitor and maintain oil temperatures at each machine, which extends the life of the oil, increases uptime, and helps the machine operate at its optimal efficiency.”

Improved quality control

Stein uses the Mattec MES statistical process control (SPC) and statistical quality control (SQC) capabilities to establish process and quality parameters for each job and part. “The statistical controls are great and are the basis for the auto-acceptance program we have in place, where we can actually reject bad parts at the machine,” he said. “This saves us time and improves quality for the customer.”

Mattec MES monitors every machine, measuring each cycle against four or five critical parameters established by Centor to determine if a part should be introduced into the production stream.

“Before the mold opens, Mattec MES tells us whether the product is good or bad,” Stein continued. “The system has already verified every shot, and if a parameter falls out of standard, the product is automatically kicked into the reject stream. That translates into a better product for our customer, because we're actually building in the quality rather than inspecting it.”

Improved operations

Stein credits auto-acceptance and realtime monitoring and alert capabilities with significant improvements in his plant's machine and labor utilization, scrap, and OEE. “With real-time monitoring and alerts, one operator can run more machines, so we're very efficient in our manpower. We can now analyze trends and view critical machine parameters to anticipate issues rather than waiting until we have a problem. …Mattec MES is pretty much a tool we use for everything, and the difference it has made in the way we approach our business has been like night and day.”

About Epicor

Epicor Software Corporation drives business growth. We provide flexible, industry-specific software that is designed around the needs of our manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industry customers. More than 45 years of experience with our customers' unique business processes and operational requirements is built into every solution-in the cloud or on premises. With a deep understanding of your industry, Epicor solutions spur growth while managing complexity. The result is powerful solutions that free your resources so you can grow your business. For more information, connect with Epicor or visit www.epicor.com.

Company Facts


  • Institute a standardized system of reporting and data collection for more advanced insight into the production process



  • Improved production and process control for better decision making
  • Increased machine efficiency with standardized OEE reports
  • Improved quality control and operations

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