The client: An automotive industry supplier in Hungary
The company is the Hungarian manufacturing site of an international group. The group is among the leading manufacturers in the world in its field.
Besides the automotive industry, their product is used by several branches of industry from railways to the building services, engineering, healthcare and IT. In the automotive industry, the products are used in 18 different areas, for example in onboard computers and car seats. One of their important clients is Mercedes.
The plant is under German ownership and currently has some 400 employees.
Project background, the scope of the assignment
Our partner was seeking a comprehensive solution comprising multiple fields to make real time production data easily available in the manufacturing and administration areas of the plant.
The aim was to replace the existing paper-based, frequently highly subjective data collection that resulted in imprecise numbers. This made both precise planning and precise inventory tracking difficult. Moreover, imprecise figures resulted in less effective machine utilization.
The legacy data collection method involved paper-based calculations that were manually recorded onto Excel reports. These reports were often completed at the end of the shift, resulting in deviations from actual values among others as a result of the inherent time gap.
Downtimes were often longer than necessary due to the slow information flow as maintenance staff did not receive timely notifications of machine breakdowns.
These factors adversely affected both production volumes and production quality.
The most important solutions Com-Forth Kft. implemented in the Hungarian plants of the client
Since project initiation at the end of 2016, the following custom solutions have been developed and deployed by Com-Forth Kft. at the site of the client.
The solution of Com-Forth Kft.
The implemented system displays manufactured quantities using the databases of the manufacturing machines. Data are stored in a central database (MS SQL). This provides the opportunity to query and display the parameters of the individual machines and manufactured quantities using simple parameters.
The system has a web-based interface. The various output options of the system are available on different platforms in line with the requirements of the user groups.
Maintenance request system
The maintenance request system uses large Smart TV screens. The Smart TV interface displays the current, real time status of the machines and islands (Active, Inactive, Waiting for Repair, Repair in Progress).
If a maintenance ticket is created, maintenance staff are notified thru a visual and audible alarm signal.
Interface to display manufacturing islands
Manufacturing islands are displayed on a machine level on the interface running on tablets. The system enables users to open, track and close maintenance tickets.
After the cause of downtime is selected, a maintenance ticket is opened by the system. Once a ticket is opened, it is displayed on the tablets and maintenance request TV screens. The most important causes behind downtime are predefined and have their own color codes.
Only authorized persons may open maintenance tickets. Response time and ticket creators are saved by the system.
The Andon system deployed by Com-Forth provides instant, easily readable, real time information about the current status of production for foremen and operators.
The Andon system uses large Smart TV screens to display the production quantities of machines and islands in real time. Besides raw data, the system is able to display calculated KPI data: OEE indicators, FPY, etc.
Another advantage of the Andon displays for managers and operators is that they can easily follow up other manufacturing information, such as the type in production, downtimes, transitions, time to order completion, etc.
Administration and report interfaces
Administration and report interfaces are web-based and can be used with a browser. They provide the opportunity to monitor production in real time. Reports can handle shifts and norms. The data generated in the system are available in a web-based reporting system and can be exported.
Predefined reports are available for downtimes, shifts, and production.
Various production- and maintenance-related reports and diagrams can be generated with a granularity from one hour up to one year.
Maintenance staff can track stations that are open and in progress on a different interface. Maintenance tickets can also be closed by using a remote administration interface. Extracted data can be used to create precise statements about reasons for repair or even about most common root causes.
The solution implemented by Com-Forth Kft. provides real time information for the decision-makers and the employees of the company on production and current machine status.
The information available provides useful indicators for the management (weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly indicators, efficiency, machine utilization, waste ratio) that form a basis for production- and norm-related forecasts. As a result of the new system, planning is based on real time, objective data. These data are partly automatic (raw) data harvested from the machines, and partly calculated data (OEE, etc.).
Moreover, plant staff (engineers, foremen) receive precise information about the performance of each shift.
Operators can see their current performance at a glance with respect to the current norm on the Andon screens placed besides the lines. This gives instant, positive feedback for operators who perform well. Furthermore, these objective data reflect the actual performance of employees and enable the company to reward operators showing a consistently good performance. It makes it possible to introduce a more transparent motivational system to increase employee satisfaction and performance. This directly improves quality.
The maintenance request application makes the activities of the maintenance staff easier and more effective. Maintenance staff can see downtimes in real time along with the basic cause of the issue. This enables quicker reaction and easier reporting. In the long term, saved issue reasons enable the plant to take steps to eliminate the most frequent, most typical failures. This results in fewer and shorter downtimes, and in quicker repairs.