Thesis for the Degree of Master of Science


Year 2004
Liinu Kuukka

Production Control Systems in Paper Industry

Recent progress in information technology has enabled the development of larger and more versatile information systems. Companies have to continuously update their information systems to maintain their competitiveness. Globalisation and mergers enable the development of large enterprises that have to deal with enormous amounts of information. The ability to efficiently control these ever-increasing information flows is thus becoming a critical asset.

Production control has a significant effect on the effectiveness of a paper plant. Companies in the paper industry have consequently become more interested in improving their control systems in order to boost their performance. The objective of this thesis is to examine the production control systems used in the paper industry nowadays and also to study future trends in production control systems.

The literature review focuses on production control in the paper industry and the systems enabling this. The experimental section consists of an interview survey in which representatives of several paper firms and control system vendors were interviewed about their production control systems and their view of future trends in production control. The experimental part also includes a report on the creation of an instruction manual for completing simple order-supply chain actions with an SAP R/3 system.

The literature review and experimental research revealed that a combination of three types of systems is used in production control in the paper industry today. These are manufacturing execution systems (MES), enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) and advanced planning and scheduling systems (APS). With these three systems it is possible to expand conventional production control to enterprise level and to boost profit by enhancing performance. The SAP R/3 manual was found to be very useful as a teaching tool. It was also found that the SAP R/3 system is an efficient tool for visualizing production control systems.

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