Principality Consulting Limited

Case Study

Sector: Manufacturing
Service(s): Computer, ERP, Project Management

Aluminium smelter – computer system to manage the business

Summary of the companyAn aluminium smelter potline

The company makes aluminium from alumina, an oxide of aluminium that is refined from bauxite. The process is an electrolytic process, requiring huge amounts of electricity to make the aluminium which was then cast into slabs known as ingots, weighing around 10 tonnes each. The company was being sold, and needed to implement a new ERP system that would replace the SAP system which was a corporate system of the selling company.

Issue to be resolved

Time was very tight – only 5 months were available from the issue of the purchase order to go-live and all of the functionality of the SAP system needed to be replicated into a new system, as well as taking over the functionality of the production control system, which controlled the casting process. Many modules were needed – finance, procurement, stores, production control, production scheduling, equipment maintenance, HSE compliance and HR.

Action taken

Microsoft Dynamics AX had been implemented previously at another aluminium smelter, so it was know that the system would be able to manage the workload. The vendor ( eBECS ) had increased in capability since the previous implementation, and the system architect was available so it was decided that this would be the best system to implement at such short notice. As the implementation was rapid, it was decided that a cloud system would be the most appropriate, and the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations was chosen, with the Dynaway plug-in for equipment maintenance.

The Dynamics system wasn’t a good fit for the HSE requirements of the company, so we turned to FQM of Aberdeen, who implemented the Mango system to manage the HSE aspects of the project.

A small team was put together under the project management of David Lloyd-Williams, and together with the eBECS team, the system was implemented. A phased approach was taken, with the fundamental system implemented first to meet the go-live date, then following on with a more detailed production interface and finally the Microsoft Dynamics Talent system for HR.


The system went live on time, to budget and to specification. The basics of the system were able to run the company whilst the secondary functionality was implemented, with user acceptance being high from the initial days of operation.


Alain Bakhache, former IT manager at the smelter : “When the Smelter had to change its corporate systems when acquired by a new company, we turned to David to help us manage the changes. David was in charge of the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 (including add-ons for production, maintenance and HR), as well as Mango, a QHSE cloud-based software. The context was difficult, with a very limited timeframe and limited budget, and David had to not only replace the systems, but also some of the business processes behind it. With his wide experience, extensive knowledge and professionalism, he led the multi-disciplinary team to a very successful implementation, in time and within budget.

I would highly recommend David to any company that needs IT expertise.”

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