Production Optimization in Automotive Tier 1

The client‘s facility produces Air Conditioning compressors that are supplied in JIT flow to the assembly lines of automotive manufacturers. Inside each of two integrated assembly lines, managed by Push flow, a station is dedicated to preparation of the compressor bodies.

The high level of evolution of the product mix generates imbalance, inefficiency and missing parts. A Target Model was defined, which would enable the production system to be more reactive. A Lean event was then launched to implement the target model. 

Objectives

  • Reduce costs by creating a production cell to supply the assembly lines
  • Use Pull Flow, directly by the operators and eliminate the missing parts

Approach

We set up and ran a Transformation Workshop based on the cells and workflow control methods:

  • Preparation: Creation of a Project Team, analysis of current situation
  • Work Group to define the solutions
  • Field Event: Implementation of the solutions and measure of the results
  • Follow-up: Maintaining the project structure until benefits were achieved and irreversible

Execution

  • Design of the Cell, through a Work Group
  • Definition of the rules of Pull steering
  • Redesign of the organization
  • Dimensioning (block layout)
  • Impacts on UP-stream and DOWN-stream
  • Implementation of the Cell, through a Lean Event
  • Relocation of equipment
  • Layout optimization
  • Detailed dimensioning
  • Workforce training to implement devolved decsion making and  higher flexibility
  • Implementation of Kanban, ergonomics and safety system
  • Set up of the Performances Indicators

Results

The Cell is working well, progressively achieving the objectives and justifying the decision taken.

After 12 months,

  • There are no more missing parts in either of the assembly lines
  • 20% efficiency savings, despite the high demand variations
  • First experience of KANBAN, to be deployed
  • First flexible cell, to be deployed