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Rockwell Automation Partners with BIC to Drive Digital Transformation and Efficiency through Plex MES

October 2, 2023

Rockwell Automation aids iconic BIC to shift towards standardized and paperless operations with its Plex MES (Manufacturing Execution System).

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, today announced the successful one-year implementation of the Plex Manufacturing Execution System (MES) at BIC, a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, at its plant in Bizerte, Tunisia.

BIC’s primary business drivers for digitalization and transformation are the standardization of production processes and integration across machines, people, and business layers. Plex MES was selected for its broad functional scope and technical capabilities, with cloud-based Software as a Service solution offering comprehensive support to BIC’s standardization process.

Malte Dieckelmann, Vice President of Enterprise Software Sales, EMEA, explains, “Our collaboration with BIC marks a major milestone in digitally transforming its manufacturing operations. By leveraging Plex MES, BIC can transition to a more efficient, standardized, and paperless system. This development not only improves operations but also aligns with our shared focus on innovation and efficiency.”

The deployment of Plex MES began in 2020 with a pilot project at BIC’s production facility in Bizerte, Tunisia. The Plex MES system offers live reporting, enabling real-time visibility, automation of data collection, and tracking of production KPIs. The benefits of this project include improved inventory control, waste reduction, reduced error from manual processing, and overall equipment efficiency (OEE). It has also allowed for the automation of production integration, a significant change for people on the shop floor.

Rogelio Demay, Senior Manager Information Technology Manufacturing, at BIC, states: “Our journey towards digital transformation is fundamentally about integrating people and technology to improve operations. The shift from a paper-based system to Plex MES has been a tremendous step towards self-sufficiency, enabling us to react swiftly to issues, drive continuous improvement, and ultimately enhance efficiency.”

Plex MES also serves as a foundation for BIC’s broader Smart Manufacturing Initiative, including the integration of additional elements within the factory to help shift from a paper-based system to Plex MES and support self-sufficiency with a 360-degree view of the factory floor.

Rockwell Automation has been a key partner in this initiative, supporting BIC’s vision of connecting operational technologies and the IoT world, bridging the gap between these two spheres and seamlessly integrating them into the company’s operations to provide one single source of truth for manufacturing data.

Demay adds, “We value our past while embracing innovation, with a focus on breaking down silos to integrate technology and people. We believe our people are the first factor for success and integrating MES with daily routines is our way forward to improve operational efficiency.”

BIC is poised to continue this digital transformation beyond the Bizerte plant and Dafni Vakasi, Smart Manufacturing Manager at BIC described how this approach will be applied across the other BIC factories in Athens, Manaus, and Mexico with the Plex MES solution playing a major role in the journey. The expansion will also deliver benefits beyond BIC’s factory walls, helping to integrate suppliers on one side and delivery on the other to fully realize the goals of Industry 4.0, including driving actionable insights from data to empower decisions. With Rockwell Automation’s support, BIC’s journey is set to revolutionize its operations and establish a new standard in the manufacturing industry.

For more information on Rockwell Automation’s Plex MES and other offerings, visit www.rockwellautomation.comTo learn more about BIC, visit the company website here

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