"We have also been able to maintain
a relatively small administrative staff due to the efficiencies of
the system." -Brian
Veney, PRO-TEC's Manager of Business Planning and Business Systems
THE PRO-TEC STORY
PRO-TEC Coating Company, located in Leipsic, Ohio, provides galvanneal
and galvanized coated steel to the automotive, appliance, and construction
industries. PRO-TEC was established in 1990 as a joint venture between
United States Steel LLC (U. S. Steel) and Kobe Steel of Japan. When
PRO-TEC began operations in 1993, the hot-dipped Continuous Galvanizing
/ Galvannealing Line (CGL) was designed to produce 600,000 tons
of coated material per year. Because of the demand of the product,
in late 1998 a second line began operations. This line added another
400,000 tons per year of capacity, establishing the Leipsic facility
as the largest hot-dip galvanizing / galvannealing plant in the
world. "PRO-TEC has been able to exceed its capacity due to its
efficiency and the efficiencies of the systems that support the
plant," says Saul Better, former UEC PRO-TEC project manager.
U.S. Steel systems group was contracted in 1990 to develop the business
system (Level 3) for PRO-TEC Coating Company. Because of the legal
issues with selling the licenses for computer systems, the contract
got transferred to UEC, which gave UEC the opportunity to become
a true developer and integrator of metals systems on various platforms
for companies outside the U.S. Steel umbrella. UEC worked closely
with Davy International to provide the interface between the plant
systems and the business systems.
The Level 3 Business System that was built for PRO-TEC consists
of Administrative Support, Commercial, Warehouse & Shipping, Metallurgy,
Production Planning, and Operations modules. This system is a mainframe
application that uses COBOL, CICS, and DB2. The system is comprised
of over 1200 programs, more than 500 on-line screens, and in excess
of 200 batch jobs. In addition to these, the system is interfaced
with numerous other applications within U.S. Steel, including Account
Payable, Accounts Receivable, Order Entry, i2 Supply Chain Planning,
Traffic, COMPORD, and Electronic Commerce.
PRO-TEC was in a great position right from the business system startup.
In fact, PRO-TEC saw a return on investment much sooner than it
had expected, in part due to the smooth startup of the plant and
the support systems that were in place from the very beginning.
Originally, the system was scheduled for startup in 1993 but it
was pushed up to October of 1992. UEC was able to provide PRO-TEC
with the majority of its system months early. There were some interfaces
and accounting modules yet to be developed, but for the most part
the system was in place early. "We have also been able to maintain
a relatively small administrative staff due to the efficiencies
of the system," according to Brian Veney, PRO-TEC's Manager of Business
Planning and Business Systems. This remained the case even after
the second coating line was established at PRO-TEC.
Additions To The System
UEC IT developed and implemented the following enhancements to the system:
- provided PRO-TEC with the communication link between the plant
systems and the business systems.
- provided the electronic flow of data (EDI) between the plants
that supply the substrate, their outside processors who perform
other operations on the coated coils, and their customers.
- designed handoffs to the UCES (Uniform Costing Estimating System)
system, which allows for PRO-TEC to perform a cost analysis of
- provided for the expansion of PRO-TEC's business with the startup
of a second coating line.
- developed a relationship with Great Plains Software to provide
PRO-TEC with its General Ledger capabilities.
- established an interface with OPEX (U.S. Steel's Oracle-based
Order Entry System) that allows for all orders to be inputted
into the OPEX system and to flow into PRO-TEC's system. This interface
paved the way for a Supply Chain Management function to be added
to allow orders to be placed in the system automatically.
- allowed for the Outside Processors to view their orders on the
- allowed for Customers to view their material, as well as their
test results, on the Internet.
- made revisions to the system to include the ability to do Toll
Coating, meaning that PRO-TEC could use substrate coils from plants
other than USS Gary Works and USS Mon Valley Works, thus expanding
its business potential.
- designed and implemented a Level 2 Client Server System utilizing
a Microsoft SQL Server Database to allow for more timely and accurate
reporting of production data. As each coil is produced, production
records are transferred from the Level 2 systems to this new application
where the data is loaded into the database. The data is then available
almost immediately for reporting using both Impromptu and user-friendly
Visual Basic applications.