Cape Town based jacquard weaving mill/company Deslee Mattex manufactures fabrics for the bedding industry in South Africa. The company employs 93 people at its plant in Cape Town, with sales representation in Johannesburg and Durban regions.
Deslee Mattex was using an old outdated card system for time and attendance that was prone to misuse. As the company paid on clocked hours, it was important to find a system where employees could not swap cards and clock in and out for each other. Administration staff were also constantly re-issuing cards and having to manually edit time sheets for staff who left cards at home or lost them. This resulted in double work for the administration team.
Due to the flammable nature of the products, staff are not allowed to smoke in certain areas. However, the company found that there was ongoing abuse of smoking time. Trac-Tech was asked to supply access control, time and attendance and a random search facility to alleviate the problem.
The scope of work for Trac-Tech included the supply of Virdi AC3000 RF biometric access control/time and attendance readers on two existing full-height single turnstiles. The turnstiles were modified to accommodate the Trac-Tech readers, fingerprint technology, VIP interface and random search facility.
“The solution was the one that most suited Deslee Mattex’s requirements as it used fingerprint technology and the software was very flexible. The overriding factor was that the Trac-Tech system could interface with their existing VIP Payroll system. The fact that there were no licence fees attached to the software made the solution very attractive to them,” says Trac-Tech sales manager, Marj Vasalek.
With the installation of the Trac-Tech system and some building alterations, it was possible to localise the smoking area and enforce clocking for smoke breaks, thus giving Deslee Mattex the opportunity to manage its downtime more effectively. “The company was in fact able to reduce production losses from 1 hour per day per smoker to 15 minutes per day per smoker. With 25% of their staff being smokers, this made a substantial impact on productivity,” says Vasalek.
“The access control aspect was welcomed with open arms because only Deslee Mattex staff are able to access the premises and the canteen/change room facilities, the costs involved in maintaining the facilities have been drastically reduced. In addition, the employees feel more assured that their personal belongings are safer.
“Due to the flexibility of the software, employees are no longer able to leave their workstation 15 minutes before the end of the shift, as was the custom, so working time on the production floor has increased. Control of casual labour has also been tightened as it is quick and easy to introduce them onto the biometric system. Lastly, the fact that the Virdi readers have a very good transaction success rate, has enabled them to eliminate the use of cards,” adds Vasalek.
With regard to the time and attendance aspect, Deslee Mattex is now able to pay accurately from the system and the interface into the VIP Payroll works very well.
The management at Deslee Mattex were impressed with the hardware technology and the fact that the readers had security protocols that could be followed in case of a fingerprint misread.
“As a long-term project, Deslee Mattex will be looking at an integrated quality management system at operator level, using biometric technology on its machinery. This will allow traceability and full records of all production aspects,” says Valasek.
The project was characterised by good hardware design, with battery back-up and a good memory facility. “As Deslee Mattex operates around the clock, it is critical that that there is no downtime on the system. The service, technical know-how and good global overview of the implementation/integration process leveraged by the hardware and software consultants at Trac-Tech made the integration process smooth, resulting in a highly successful project,” Vasalek concludes.
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