Operational efficiency to improve production capacity by 20%
Increasing a customised capital equipment factory’s production capacity by 20% or achieving 90% on-time deliveries (improving on the former rate of 40%), with the corresponding savings as less penalties need to be paid for delay, are all made possible by improvements in operational efficiency.
IK4-IKERLAN has started up production synchronisation projects with various client capital equipment manufacturing companies, helping them achieve these improvements.
The companies that manufacture capital equipment – equipment used to produce other goods, such as factory machinery – often have to face the problem of needing to produce customised goods to cater to their customers’ requirements. This means the production process is not standardised and project planning is more complex than for non-customised work, which can lead to delays, unnecessary expenses and low productivity.
To respond to this need, IK4-IKERLAN has set up production sychronisation projects with different client companies in this sector. It has succeeded in creating a quick, efficient production schedule, coordinating the company’s different departments and its suppliers.
This has not only led to cost savings (as less time is spent on production and less penalties are incurred for customer delivery delays) but has also enabled the companies to boost their income due to increased productivity.
IK4-IKERLAN’s role in these projects is to formalise production processes, define scheduling patterns and order the company’s workflow, with a view to achieving reliable delivery dates.
The fact that different departments are all involved in a typical contract for a capital equipment production company - technical/sales, design, purchasing and assembly - means a good workflow between them is vital for the company’s efficiency, as a delay in any of the production steps affects the whole process up to delivery, resulting in lost competitiveness.
"We want to convince our clients that each of the company departments should treat the next one in the process as a client", explains Juan Manuel Besga, an IK4-IKERLAN researcher.
The results of IK4-IKERLAN’s work on projects of this type have been aired at the MCPC (World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization and Co-Creation), a benchmark congress in the mass customisation area recently held in Aalborg (Denmark).