How Atlantic group make SIM digital in record time

In barely 3 months, the teams at the Atlantic group site in Billy-Berclau have succeeded in digitizing their SIM  (Short Interval Management) visual management materials (TOP 5, TOP 30, etc.). Supports fully interconnected with their other plant management solutions, with total autonomy in the deployment and continuous improvement of their supports. How ? Explanations.

In the factory of the Atlantic group in Billy-Berclau (62), there is no time to lose! Started up in 2016 with 50 people, the plant dedicated mainly to the production of heat pumps now employs 500, “produces” more than 200,000 products per year and plans to further accelerate to 350,000 within 2 coming years.

A full throttle start that also characterizes the way its teams digitized their AIC (Short Interval Animations, about fifteen different rituals in this factory) in barely 3 months! All without ever confusing speed and haste…

Their method ?

  • clear objectives from the start (which facilitates the search for the right partner and the framing of the project)
  • the business and the IT department working hand in hand
  • a constant head start on the rest of the project: how the teams will get to grips with the tool,   and how it will be able to be rolled out on a large scale after the first tests…


Make SIM management more efficient

“SIMs are something that has been deeply rooted in the factory, and in the entire Atlantic group for years, explains François Huyge, production manager at the Billy-Berclau factory. TOP 5, for the starting points of each shift for each of our 14 production lines, TOP 30 (the production coordination meeting) and a ritual called InterGAP (for Groupes Autonomes de Production) which allows facilitators to line to take stock of their priorities and needs… We are fond of these rituals”.

46 SIM per day at the Group Atlantic factory: 

Le planning quotidien des rituels AIC chez Atlantic

… to avoid waste of time in preparation 

Before turning to Pingflow, the Atlantic teams in Billy-Berclau organized their AICs in the traditional way: whiteboards, paper prints, cards for actions to be taken, Powerpoint presentations, etc.

The problem ? This system, efficient and well established, but “operators spent their time copying information from whiteboards to computer files, and vice versa, with all the risks of loss of information and errors that this entails. ”, laments François Huyge. And with more than 40 daily rituals to organize, the time counter climbs very quickly…

Why did they choose Pingflow?

Based on this observation, François Huyge therefore set out to find a solution allowing him to digitize the AICs of his factory. With very clear expectations:

  • a system that simplifies and streamlines the retrieval of production information, and its visual “translation” into clear indicators,
  • a solution that centralizes and monitors the various action plans for the plant
  • and for each line a solution that can be easily integrated into the site’s information system.

“At Atlantic, we like to have our hands on our tools: so I was looking for an intuitive solution, which would allow us to be quickly autonomous, and above all flexible because we do things our way, lists the production manager. I studied several solutions on the market: only Pingflow ticked all the boxes. The other solutions were either unsuited to our needs, or much too formatted”.

After initial discussions in the spring of 2022, Atlantic Billy-Berclau is therefore embarking on its digital visual management project with Pingflow.

Connectivity to data with the IT teams

In such a structuring project on the smooth running of production, the involvement of IT teams is obviously the sine qua non of a good deployment. But their role goes far beyond that, and especially begins well before the production phase: it is from the framing of the project that they have a role to play.

A stroke of luck: at Billy-Berclau, the industrial IT team is used to working as close as possible to the field, and we were able to provide assistance on two essential dimensions: data:

  • how to structure it and if necessary create it to make the best use of it in the context of SIMs connectivity:
  • how to interconnect Pingflow with the “stack” of existing tools in the factory, and make the most of it.

Another issue for which the involvement of IT has been decisive: data. “It is a subject that we master very well: how our data is formed, structured… notes Nicolas Denis.
It was therefore easier upstream to ask the right questions so that they were easily exploitable in Pingflow, and above all always structured in the same way”.

Result: when it was necessary to design the wallboards (the displays used during the various  SIMs), the base was “clean”, coherent… and easily deployable on all the lines to cover the site in just a few days.


Easy-to-use wallboards

359 / 5 000 Résultats de traduction Résultat de traduction Because the different wallboards have been “templatized” (same overall structure, same indicator format) as much as possible: from one line to another, the TOP 5 wallboards are structured in the same way, and only the information changes. “When you have to deploy one more, it’s a matter of 5 minutes”, smiles Nicolas Denis.  


Exemple de wallboard d'AIC chez Atlantic

Same design, same hierarchy of information, but personalized data in 2 different wallboards: with a single template, the Atlantic teams were able to deploy their SIM wallboards very quickly in the different areas of the plant.


From design to management : an intuitive solution

Last factor that allowed Atlantic to move so quickly in the deployment of its digital AIC project: the ease of use of Pingflow. “In terms of wallboard design, the solution is very intuitive: you don’t need to be a computer scientist to achieve it”, appreciates François Huyge.

Same observation on the side of the end users (line animators and operators), who quickly appropriated Pingflow, and in particular Table, the “No Code” database management solution integrated into Pingflow, which notably makes it possible to create interactive input (for reporting incidents, absences, etc.), but also all action plans, documented, sorted, prioritized… and up to date

The results: less time-consuming, more interactive, and more impactful AICs

A few months after this rapid deployment, the Atlantic teams have already identified a triple gain: of time in the preparation of SIMs efficiency of these rituals, with more concentrated teams of impact, with better monitored action plans, and better visibility on the activity

the observation is clear: 80% of what the facilitators had to re-enter before the meeting is now automatically available on the wallboard.

“Clearly, the half-hour spent by AIC looking for and copying information has almost disappeared”, welcomes the production manager.

François Huyge observes that having a single support (the screen that broadcasts the wallboard) and an interactive support, makes the rituals more participatory and the teams “more attentive and more in the discussion”. For the third, the digitization of action plans is a big plus. And beyond that, its objective of having a more synthetic and precise overview of the “pulse of the factory” (essential especially during the TOP 30) is largely fulfilled.

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