Because this investment can be delayed as far as possible into the future by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the production process. A value stream analysis performed by the Fraunhofer Institute demonstrated to us how such an optimisation is possible. The initial question of this analysis was how we can optimise the future production process in such a way that we can produce the required quantities without the need for new construction.
As well as the increasing production quantities, there was also the acquisition of new market segments.
There had to be a plan
But how does a value stream analysis like this take place in practice? First of all, a huge amount of data is required, plus a comparison of the current and target states. For this, an investigation was undertaken onsite over 3 x 2 days, excluding the data analysis, which was performed with the support of the Fraunhofer Institute.
The analytical steps required for this:
- Selection of a reference product group
- Investigation of the value stream, i.e. of the complete process from ordering to goods receipt
- Determination of losses in value (where are there inefficiencies?)
After measuring the current state, an action plan was then derived; this will run until the end of the year at least. This defines how, when, and where a company can improve itself. Only after the completion of the action plan is it possible to talk of lean production. By means of an improved value creation chain, it is possible to avoid superfluous activities in the future. In this way, it is possible to achieve lean and, above all, efficient production.
Challenges which have grown with time
The position of intralogistician was newly created and, by defining and creating the necessary interfaces between the specialist areas, it was possible to significantly optimise internal processes and to save time. In addition, a further step was taken towards paperless manufacturing. Work orders are no longer printed off, but instead are assigned by ABAS directly to the responsible specialist areas.
Furthermore, by focussing on our core business, it has been possible to optimise batch sizes, and to create and already implement tailored set-up plans. These are only some of the items in the value creation process which we have improved thanks to the value stream analysis. With the new understanding which we have been able to gain through the value stream analysis, new construction is not currently required. In future we will focus on our strengths. This not only brings increased efficiency – it also makes it possible to react with agility to customer requirements. In addition, the new process has a positive effect on stock levels, because the production of lower item quantities simultaneously means bedeutet gleichzeitig reduced inventory.