Re-engineering can faciltate cost optimization and improve productivity #3

Mohan Santhanam August 17, 2017

#3 of blog series on B-WI customer stories

Truck & Trailer_LP_New_Header 3.pngFor truck and trailer manufacturers, growing competition, increasing customers’ demand for quality, features, and service in emerging markets plays a significant role in intensifying industry dynamics.

For example, customers want more powerful trucks with greater carrying capacity to handle the habitual overloading vehicles face and with more robust systems for navigation.

In this scenario, B-WI was asked by their client to build a new facility at a different location, in an aggressive time frame. This blog post in customer stories series is about how B-WI designed the required jigs and fixtures for the new facility through reengineering, and in the process added improvements to the client's existing processes.

New Facility vs. Existing Facility

Pin ball globe.pngThe new facility needed to be a replica of the existing facility with the same sequence and production line, but with the ability to reduce cycle time and labor costs.

This proved to be a challenge since the existing plant was a couple of decades old and there was no documentation available on the jigs and fixtures that needed to be manufactured for the new plant.

B-WI has always strongly believed that whatever might have been the perfect process just a few years ago, may be outdated today.   For us at B-WI, re-engineering is a science that deals with investigation of the process at every stage with the purpose of understanding the process in-depth and redesigning the individual components in order to maximize the efficiency – in this case the jigs and fixtures for the new facility.

In order for the demands to be met, all of the jigs and fixtures needed to be re-engineered to suit the current design and manufacturing standards.

Study of the Existing Systems & Processes

Connected_Manufacturing.jpgThe B-WI team thoroughly studied the operational sequence, mounting points and functional aspects of the existing production line. 

All critical production fixtures were re-engineered to suit the requirement for the new facility. These fixtures were modelled using SolidWorks 3D CAD. The production drawings that were created successfully reduced the manufacturing time and also the cost.

Parts standardization and material standardization was done to improve manufacturability. Off-the-shelf parts were utilized wherever suitable in order to minimize the purchasing cycle and optimize supply chain costs.

Since the existing process was analyzed for optimization and aligned with global best practices, the client’s productivity increased by 20% in the new facility, which was completed in time to meet the aggressive deadline.

 Click here

Here are the links to the previous posts in the B-WI customer stories series:

Blog post #1: How A Truck Manufacturer Reduced Manufacturing Cost Through Alternate Material Selection

Blog post #2: Reduced Design Release Time By Standardizing Engineering Data

Topics Product Cost Optimization Product Development Solutions