After established architecture, a baselined requirements model and a verified development/deployment process, the project could evolve into a software development factory

Our customer runs factories all over the world for manufacturing of packaging material. The manufacturing process consists of several steps, all managed and maintained by a dedicated and customized IT system. The system receives orders from the ERP system and returns statistics and production information back. The manufacturing system should support all planning and production processes within a factory.

The mission for the project was to develop a new production management system supporting the manufacturing process, on a new technical platform including new processes for development.

The project scope was to:

  • Analyze the current/old system in close cooperation with the business in order to identify business and system requirements, both functional and non-functional.
  • Establish processes, organization and training for development, pilot and maintenance of the new system
  • Develop and verify the new system
  • Pilot and handover the system to the business and to the application maintenance organization

Key properties of the new IT system:

  • Very high requirements on performance and availability
  • Real-time communication with machines, sensors and devices within the factory
  • Highly graphical user interfaces displaying real time events in the ongoing processes.
  • Complex information model and Big Data driven
  • Complex system- and process integrations with ERP systems, data warehouse, machines within the factory, conveyor systems and other devices in the factory.
  • A large system based on Java enterprise, Oracle, Web Logic Server, Unix, Struts and other frameworks.
  • An architecture with a strong focus on sensors, components and patterns in order to increase maintainability and productivity aspects.

At project start IT informa established a project based on 10 teams i.e. Project Mgmt, Business- and Requirements Analysis, System Architecture, Application Development, Project Infrastructure, Test and Pilot. Most teams consisted of a mix of resources, both external and internal. After establishment of a verified architecture, a baselined requirements model and a verified development/deployment process, the project could evolve into a software development factory consisting of 4 development teams and a forum of architects, each one mentoring a development team. During the highly iterative development process both competence and robust solutions where established.

Key Properties of the project

  • Involved external consultants, experts, internal developers and business experts. Around 50 persons in total.
  • High level of formalism regarding documentation and structure. Design patterns, code reviews and mentoring where used for all parts of the system in order to ensure different quality aspects e.g. maintainability, performance and functionality.
  • High level of automation e.g. automated test, continuous build, automated deployment, documentation and other automated QA mechanisms

  • A complete solution approved by the pilot factory
  • One common manufacturing system which after the project closure was rolled out to over 25 factories all over the world.
  • Project closed on time and on budget
  • Support organization and development process established
  • New infrastructure for development and deployment including processes and tools
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