Case Study: Electronics Manufacturer Increases Capacity 25% by Focusing Investment
This NZ based electronics manufacturer needed increase and sustain manufacturing capacity to meet increasing orders. We were asked to help evaluate the capital investment options of a new machine to provide the increase in capacity with a budget of approx. $200-300K available.
Our client, a growing New Zealand Based Electronics Manufacturer were starting to see capacity become a concern and would start impacting delivery performance and the ability to take on new work, they would have to either turn it away or hire more staff and run longer hours/ The company had decided to invest in new equipment to increase their capacity rather than more staff & longer hours so asked us to help them review these options. The key factors when looking at this process were depending on the direction the company was moving with it's business mix it would have a major impact on the equipment to be selected
- High mix / low volume runs would drive a focus on fast changeovers rather than machine speed,
- High volume / low mix runs would drive a focus on machine speed with some sacrifice in change over times
- The current set up was built around total flexibility and the machines were in a standalone configuration having to be manually loaded & unloaded which increased downtime but was perceived to be more flexible.
- A desire to minimise training times and learning curves for new machines
We recommended that if the company did want to buy a new machine they then should invest in the latest generation of what they had to reduce training time and allow reuse of existing equipment, this would give them 40% increase in capacity. However this was our least preferred option.
The ideal solution would be to change the mode of operation of the company from manual loading to auto loading systems on the existing machines & add conveyors to the process to move parts to & from the machines.
This then would result in:
- A consistent & repeatable faster loading process
- Additional capacity from the reduction in loading times - an average of 60 seconds down to 14 seconds
- Improved through put of the line
- Less rework from handling issues
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