‘Made in Germany’ still stands for high quality and reliable products, but quality is not any longer the only competitive factor in changing markets. Delivery performance and adherence, value for money and flexibility in production process to fulfil demanding customer wishes are more and more the decision criteria to stay in the market or to leave. The discrete manufacturing industry has the huge challenge to optimize these multidimensional goals and manage this in a proper way. The requirement of actual performance and setting the cornerstones for future success in parallel are crucial for surviving in a global market. Especially the small and medium sized companies are in the middle between hidden champions on one hand side and danger to loose future market entry on the other hand side. Money has to be unfrozen by operational excellence in order to invest into the future. New challenges, but also big opportunities are coming on the scene by Industry 4.0 and other technological developments using mobile devices and applications.
Consulting and service portfolio:
- PACE – transparency on indirect cost allocation
- Product portfolio management
- Optimization of material flow and inventory turns
- Overall equipment effectiveness, set-up time reduction and total productive maintenance
- Lean order flow and lean operations organisation
- Lean management and lean manufacturing
- Purchasing and supply chain management
Argus Fluidtechnik, Friedrichs & Rath, GWF Luzern, Rexnord, Sensus Metering
Selected success storys:
Invensys Metering GmbH (former Spanner Pollux GmbH) with its headquarter in Ludwigshafen (Germany) designs and produces metering systems (bulk water meters, domestic water meters, heat meters, accessories for water/heat meters, electronics, readout systems).
In order to become more flexible and competitive, Invensys Metering has decided to investigate all business processes and as well to redesign and reengineer most of them. The vision, methods and tools of Lean Enterprise Transformation were the kernel, philosophy and framework of all ideas and activities. ‘We have decided to use Lean Enterprise Transformation, because it gives us the guidance for the new focus of our business’, the managing director, comments on the project. ‘Together with conmotion GmbH we have reengineered the complete order fulfillment process including sales, scheduling, production, material management and after sales service.’
Today Invensys Metering is much more flexible and can react faster on changing demands of the market. The delivery time has been reduced by concepts of flow manufacturing and Kanban systems. Due to this also the inventory turnover rate has been improved. ‘Conmotion GmbH has guided and supported us with pragmatic and well proven methods as well as with an engaged working style. These circumstances and the high level of competence in transformation and realization have been the success factors for our project’, the management director of Sensus Metering concludes.
Sigmund Kunststofftechnik (SiKu) is a mid-sized company producing plastic parts and components for various industries as well as for the consumer industries. SiKu has initiated the lean transformation with consultancy support of conmotion. The major objectives have been in parallel the reduction of lead times and inventories.
The project should visually show the change direct from the beginning. So we decided to start with workshops on the shop floor to involve the people and to underpin the practical aspects of this transformation. A Lean Champion was established and we also initiated an activity plan for the white collar staff, so that the whole company starts thinking that each individual is involved in the transformation process.
The material flow was analyzed and the Kanban principle was established to reduced inventories and ensure lead time adherence. The manufacturing started to transfer to a pull oriented cell system triggered by pull signals of the internal customer. Other effect was that the overall equipment efficiency also increased and we created free space in the warehouse and on the shop floor.
The conclusion of this project is that lean principles can be implemented with lots of benefits especially in mid-sized companies fast and very efficient.