More capacity through
higher operating rate
improvement in productivity
machines connected to Machine Track
The Pilkington Automotive factory in Tampere, Finland, cuts and tempers glass for construction machines, tractors and other vehicles. It specializes in producing small quantities, which means there are a lot of changeovers in the production.
“We introduced Machine Track in 2007. One of the reasons was to find out the true duration of changeovers in production and to reduce them. We were also interested in the causes and duration of errors”, says process developer Jarkko Helén. He is pleased with the results, because the duration of errors can now be clearly seen. In addition, in the light of history data it is easy to see which parts of the production chain suffer from the problems.
Capacity up by 20%
The monitoring of the machines has resulted in a capacity growth of as much as 20% with some of the machines. The capacity could also still be increased. Helén says that this potential could not have been seen without the automated control.
“For us, the greatest benefit of the Arrow system stems from the number of changeovers in production. It can be seen especially at the Tampere factory which is a small unit that can manufacture small quantities and take difficult assignments. Other factories do not take these kind of small, individual assignments but we specialize in them”, Helén says.
“The monitoring of production chains has also revealed clear bottlenecks. In addition, the numerical data tells us which machines function well. When all the reasons for pauses in production are visible, there is a clear and unarguable basis for the development of production.” Helen continues.
All the capacity is needed
In the Tampere factory, there are approximately 350 employees who work in various cycles of daytime and shift work. The working hours vary depending on machines and volume of orders. Helén says that the factory now works at full capacity, which is why it is crucial to raise the operating rate.
The monitoring of productivity and efficiency has, for example, given us information about the vulnerability of some products to errors. For instance, the connection between machine breakdowns and the product can now be seen as numbers, not as mere estimates given by the employees.
This shows the machine parts that are vulnerable to errors. Furthermore, the system can be adapted so that every group of machines has its own identifiable reasons for error. When the machines are different and versatile, there are no standard reasons for errors in production.
“The machines and their maintenance are expensive. Besides the maximization of operating time, also the fastness of maintenance becomes relevant. When the system shows the actual time needed for maintenance or repair, the performance in these areas can also be improved”, says Helén.
Altogether 24 machines are monitored. The major part of the factory’s production is exported; only five per cent is delivered inside the country.
Pilkington Automotive Finland Oy ,
Tampere and Laitila
MES-system for improving productivity
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