Filter division benefits from productivity evaluation...
£0.5M+ ORDER INTAKE . . .
With order intake, in the past 3 months alone, for our well respected filter range surpassing £0.5m the need to evaluate improvements to manufacturing & assembly times became even more focused than ever. With detailed consultations with all in-house departments, and existing client feedback taken into account, it became apparent certain areas needed re designeering.
SN Engineering like to consider themselves as a dynamic client focused company specializing in the dry bulk materials handling sector. Over the years, their filter division has enjoyed a remarkable growth & loyal client following. Although over this period of substantial growth, only small tweaks & various enhancements had taken place across the range of in-house designed & manufactured units, however we are always looking at ways to improve the assembly staff &/or client interface. This need for greater appreciation become more emphasized & focused when Q4 of 2015, alone, saw filter order intake surpass the £1/2m barrier. The directors immediately instigated & fast tracked an evaluation process across all aspects from conception to arrival @ site. In tandem with the in-house appraisal, implementation of a detailed & targeted survey with existing clients also ensued.
Some, relatively small, time saving aspects that could aid in reducing total lead times thus aiding in achieving some tight client timeframes on some orders were highlighted & implemented. However, one area that stood out from all the rest and influenced by feedback from existing users, was that of the cell clamping arrangement.
“. . . extremely impressed with the overall robustness of SN filter units, but changing the filter cells can be quite time consuming, especially on our larger units . . .”
Having carried out a true timeline for the manufacture & assembly of the cell plate alone, of a medium sized unit ( 18 ), and then combining with actual on-site timeline for full change over some datum’s were set. Engineering were then tasked with designing a new system that could dramatically reduce the manufacturing & assembly timeline and also offer the clients an improved operating experience yet without compromising durability & robustness that are the bywords of SN filter units.
Having evaluated various proposals, and in consultation with the cell manufacturers, a new design was approved for trial. With manufacture of the new design cell plate initiated and a side-by-side assembly trialed, the net result was a time saving of 64%. Next was a site trail, again, a relative time saving of 58% was achieved. On the right track and with a few minor changes – primarily to make the new design toolfree – implementation & roll out of this new design across the full range was approved. 1st builds are well under way and all units supplied from Jan 2016 will incorporate this new design. A noticeable difference in shop floor productivity is being witnessed.
Everything has the potential to be improved upon !!
Q: How can you improve manufacturing & build times ?
A: Identify areas of slow productivity, re-evaluate and if possible design out cause.
Q: How can you improve client experience ?
A: Identify areas of concern from user’s perspective, re-evaluate and if possible design out.
“It’s all too easy to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour, especially when those labour’s have resulted in a product that is extremely well received and is recording good & steady sales growth, from repeat & new clients . . .SNE”
Not true, really, are you sure !
Companies should ensure that they carryout regular evaluations of their production program and carryout detailed & specific Q & A’s with clients using their equipment. Only then, can you have a true picture throughout the process and make changes where possible to further improve the overall experience.