Customized industry solutions according to the KPC method

Select your industry here
BranchenIMG1

Machine tools / Machine and plant engineering

Machines and equipment are usually planned, designed and manufactured according to individual customer specifications. The order lead time is usually very long (several months or over 12 months for larger machines or plant systems). Due to the relatively long process cycle times there is often a lack of standardization in workflows and processes.

  • Determining realistic delivery dates
  • Specifications that are complex and are often changed after order intake
  • Lack of standardized work
  • Customers expect shorter lead times
  • Customers often change the delivery date
  • Internal engineering-deadlines are not kept
  • Numerous long-lead time materials and lengthy procurement times
  • Processes cannot be started as scheduled
  • Production planning is very complex and time consuming
  • Wandering bottlenecks – components and parts with very different process routes and times

To achieve substantial improvements in a company’s results requires more than performing Kaizen / Lean activities in one or two micro areas, such as production or assembly.

KPC has many clients in the machine and plant engineering industy. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing  production workflows while at the same time improving the processes in planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Below are some of the concepts used as starting points in our Lean consulting:

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic finite-capacity planning and scheduling system for engineering and production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulation for short, mid- and long-term production planning
  • Synchronization of all processes (reduce lead time)
  • Lean engineering: not just standardization in parts production but optimal component design to promote assembly and increase productivity.
  • Integrate outsourced processes into the supply chain planning
  • Production transparency (order status vs. schedule) close to real time
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase resource productivity
  • Preventative system maintenance: TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)
  • Resource utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: train employees in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenIMG2

Automotive Industry and Suppliers

Car manufacturers demand just-in-sequence deliveries and zero-defect quality. Customer expectations for lower prices force suppliers to  continually find new ways to increase productivity.

  • Just-in-sequence deliveries often originate from a distribution center (warehouse). This is not according to just-in-time and results in high inventory and variable costs.
  • An increasing number of model variations means smaller lot sizes and longer setup times
  • Unplanned system failures (downtimes) resulting in lost capacity and additional costs
  • Complex and time-consuming production planning and scheduling
  • Productivity must increase continuously in order to offset demands for annual discounts
  • How to reach higher levels of equipment availability, TPM
  • Creation of a mixed production system set to the tact of customer orders

Right from the start KPC works holistically: optimizing workflows while at the same overseeing measures to improve the processes in planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach for the automotive industry.

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic multi-level finite capacity planning in engineering and production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulations for short, mid- and long-term planning
  • Reduce setup times (SMED) in order to realize smaller lot sizes or a one-piece flow production
  • Synchronize all processes to reduce lead time
  • Integrate outsourced processes into the supply chain planning
  • Production transparency (order status vs. schedule) close to real time
  • Optimize the Kanban-system
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase resource productivity
  • Preventative system maintenance (TPM)
  • Resource utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen
Plastics Industry

Plastics Industry

Lengthy and complex machine setup makes one-piece flow production unfeasible, therefore products are usually made-to-stock based on a forecast for customer orders. The biggest challenge is to maintain low, but sufficient inventory while still responding quickly to customer demand.

  • Long changeover times and limited flexibility
  • Production planning is complex and costly. Continuous multi-finit capacity planning is required with regard to the availability of equipment, injection moulds, changeover team, machine operators and raw material.
  • Only qualified employees can perform system changeovers
  • Production of high lot sizes
  • High storage costs
  • Loss of capacity and additional costs in case of unplanned machine breakdowns

Achieving substantial improvements in a company’s results requires more than performing Kaizen / Lean activities in one or two micro areas, such as production or assembly.

KPC has many clients in the plastics industry. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing  workflows while at the same time improving the processes in planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach for the plastics industry.

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic multi-level finite capacity planning for production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulation capabilities for reliable short, mid- and long-term forecasts
  • Reduce machine setup times (SMED)
  • Synchronize mold-maintenance with production planning
  • Production transparency (order status vs. schedule) close to real time
  • Optimization of the Kanban-system
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Boost resource productivity
  • Preventative machine maintenance: TPM
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenTransformatoren

Transformers

Power transformers, distribution transformers and cast resin transformers must be electrically calculated individually, according to customer specifications, then mechanically designed and manufactured.

The order processing time is very long (several weeks and months, large projects for power transformers may take over 12 months).

  • Customized and complex product specifications
  • Production requires a wide range of complex processes: core-sheet cutting, mechanical production, core production/assembly, windings, furnace processes, dry-out, lead connection, tank assembly, oil filling, final assembly, testing, and startup.
  • Determining realistic delivery dates is difficult
  • Optimizing processes so that they are synchronous is complex and time consuming
  • The engineering process is complex and has a long lead time
  • Lean engineering: not just standardization in parts production but optimal component design to promote assembly and increase productivity.
  • Internal production engineering deadlines are not kept
  • The training of engineering personnel takes many years
  • Large numbers of supplier long-lead time items, e.g. bushings, switchgears, housings, heat exchangers.
  • Many production processes must be performed manually
  • Lengthy training period required for production workers
  • Customers often change delivery dates

KPC has many years of successful consulting experience in the area of transformer manufacturing. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes for planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach for transformer manufacturing.

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic finite-capacity planning for engineering and production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulations to assist in short, mid- and long-term planning
  • Synchronize all processes in order to reduce lead time
  • Integrate outsourced goods into the supply chain planning
  • Greater transparency in production (order status vs. plan), near real-time
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase overall resource productivity
  • Preventative machine maintenance: TPM
  • Utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: train employees in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenElektronik

Electronics: SMD Manufacture and Assembly

Electronic products usually have a short product lifecycle and designs may change after 6-9 months. Profit margins are low, and retailers cannot afford to keep articles sitting on the self. Here the best option is a demand-driven, make-to-order production with small lot sizes.

  • High production costs and low profit margin
  • High fixed costs due to expensive production equipment
  • Production processes are complicated: double-sided SMD, soldering, manual placements, optical inspection, functional testing, pre- and final assembly, testing.
  • Production scheduling is complex and time consuming
  • Only highly skilled employees can perform the setup on SMD machines
  • SMD machines have long changeover times
  • Numerous long-lead time items and lengthy procurement times, e.g. electronic components, circuit boards
  • High quality assurance costs (inspection and frequent reworking)
  • High storage costs for raw material
  • Lost capacity and additional costs due to unplanned machine outages

KPC has many years of successful Lean consulting experience in the area of transformer manufacturing. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes for planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach:

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardization of all processes and methods
  • Realistic multi-level finite capacity planning for engineering and production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulation capabilities for reliable short, mid- and long-term forecasts
  • Reduce setup times in the SMD-system: SMED
  • Synchronization of all manufacturing processes
  • Greater transparency in production (order status vs. schedule) close to real-time
  • Optimize the Kanban system
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase overall resource productivity
  • Preventative machine maintenance: TPM
  • Utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenSchaltanlagen

Switchgear Production

Switchgears must be electrically calculated individually, according to customer specifications, then mechanically designed and manufactured.

The production has very long order lead times (weeks or months)

  • Product specifications are individual and complex
  • Production processes are "broad" and complex: sheet metal working, mechanical production, welding, cast resin production, painting, electrical assembly, cable production, pre-assembly, final assembly, testing, commissioning
  • Engineering and production planning is very complex and costly
  • Determining a realistic delivery date is difficult
  • High engineering effort and long engineering lead time
  • Internal engineering deadlines are not met
  • Training of engineering staff takes many years
  • Many long-lead time items and long procurement times, e.g. protection and instrument transformers, vacuum interrupters
  • Customers often change the delivery time

KPC has many years of successful consulting experience in the area of switchgear production. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes for planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach for the switchgear production.

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic finite-capacity planning for engineering and production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulations for short, mid- and long-term production planning
  • Lean engineering: not only standardization in parts production but optimal  component design to promote assembly and increase productivity.
  • Synchronization for all processes to reduce lead time
  • Integrate outsourced goods into the supply chain planning
  • Greater transparency in production (order status vs. plan) near real-time
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase overall resource productivity
  • Preventative equipment maintenance: TPM
  • Utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenFedernindustrie

Spring Manufacturing

Spring manufacturing consists of lengthy and specialized hot or cold forming processes. The production is a linear process with different routes: winding, tempering, hardening, grinding, deburring, straightening, shot peening, setting, testing, painting/coating, marking. The production lot sizes can be very different, which is particularly a challenge for production planning and determining the delivery date.

  • Complex production processes
  • When hot and cold coiled springs are being produced concurrently, some processes may overlap
  • Process times vary greatly
  • Production planning is complicated and time consuming
  • The spring coiling machine has a very long setup time
  • Little flexibility due to large production lot sizes
  • Lengthy delivery times
  • Skilled workers are required to perform the setup
  • Lost capacity and additional costs due to unplanned machine outages

KPC has successfully consulted several well-known spring manufacturers. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes for planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach:

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic multi-finite-capacity planning for the production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulations for short, mid- and long-term planning
  • Reduce setup time for deforming machines: SMED
  • Synchronize all manufacturing processes
  • Greater production transparency (status vs. plan) close to real-time
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase overall resource productivity
  • Preventative machine maintenance: TPM
  • Utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenKabelherstellung

Cable Manufacturing

Cable manufacturing is a linear production process that requires numerous production steps. There may be up to 15 complex procedures involved (e.g. drawing, bundling, multiple tumbling and rewinding processes, multiple jacket extrusion, testing, stranding, jacketing) plus additional, type-specific processes with differing process routes. Production is usually made-to-order or made-to-stock.

  • Complex production processes: copper wire drawing requiring several steps, winding, braiding, extrusion of individual wires, additional braiding,  cable jacketing ... plus specific processes depending on the type of cable.
  • Process times vary a great deal
  • Production planning and control is complicated and time consuming
  • Lengthy setup times on all equipment
  • Long delivery times
  • High inventory costs for finished goods
  • Only qualified workers can perform equipment setup
  • Lost capacity and additional costs due to unplanned machine outages

KPC has many years of successful Lean consulting experience in the area of cable manufacturing. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes for planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach:

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic multi-level finite capacity planning in production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulations for short, mid- and long-term planning
  • Reduce setup times: SMED
  • Synchronize all manufacturing processes
  • Greater production transparency (order status vs. plan) close to real- time
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase overall resource productivity
  • Preventative machine maintenance: TPM
  • Utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenKatheter

Catheter Manufacturing

The production of catheters involves dozens of complex process steps. One of the biggest challenges is to synchronize parallel running processes (injection molding, extrusion, balloon bonding, tube bonding, lamination, several heating processes, sterilization, assembly, etc.) in order to achieve a shorter lead time.

  • Complex production processes
  • Production scheduling is complex and time consuming. A multi-level finite capacity planning is needed which takes into account the availability of raw materials, equipment, setup teams and machine operators.
  • Synchronization for parallelly running processes
  • Long setup times
  • Requires qualified employees to do setup
  • Large lot sizes and limited flexibility
  • High storage costs
  • Lost capacity and additional costs due to unplanned machine downtime

KPC has many years of successful Lean consulting experience in catheter production. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes for planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach:

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic multi-level finite capacity planning for production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulations for short, mid- and long-term planning
  • Reduce setup times: SMED
  • Synchronize extrusion mold maintenance in the production planning
  • Greater production transparency (order status vs. plan) close to real-time
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase overall resource productivity
  • Preventative machine maintenance: TPM
  • Utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenHalbleiterprodukten

Microprocessors

Manufacture of semiconductor products (microprocessors): front-end production

The production of microprocessors is one of today’s most complex manufacturing technologies. The manufacturing process may contain 300 to 600 different steps: physical-chemical vapor deposition, molecular beam epitaxy, atomic layer deposition, chemical-mechanical polishing and planarization, photolithography, photoresist coating, stepper process, photomask, ion-implantation, furnace annealing, etc. semi-finished products go through multiple coating processes (more than 10 times). This presents a major challenge for optimal production planning and control.

  • Extremely high fixed costs due to expensive production facilities
  • Production processes are complex and wide-ranging
  • Repeat production processes (process loops)
  • Production scheduling is extremely complicated and time consuming
  • Requires highly skilled operators
  • Lost capacity and extra costs due to unplanned machine downtime

KPC has many years of successful Lean consulting experience in microprocessor production. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes for planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach:

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize processes and methods
  • Realistic multi-level finite capacity planning for production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulations for short, mid- and long-term planning
  • Reduce setup times: SMED
  • Synchronize all manufacturing processes
  • Greater transparency (order status vs. scheduling (plan)) near to real-time
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase overall resource productivity
  • Preventative machine maintenance: TPM
  • Utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenKosmetikindustrie

Cosmetics Industry

Cosmetic manufacturers usually supply products to brand name companies on an OEM-basis. Here the most economical approach is a make-to-order production strategy. The main manufacturing processes include weighing, mixing, homogenizing and filling. The challenge is to maintain high levels of productivity while remaining flexible and responsive to customer demand.

  • Long setup times
  • Requires multi-level finite capacity planning which takes into account the availability of raw materials, machinery and equipment, setup teams and machine operators.
  • Production planning must take into account the time constraints between processes (min./max.).
  • Some production lines can only be used for specific products
  • Unforeseen machine downtimes
  • Only highly skilled workers can do the setup

KPC consultants have worked extensively with leading cosmetic manufacturers. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes for planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach:

  • Eliminate waste in all processes
  • Standardize all processes and methods
  • Realistic multi-level finite-capacity planning for production: pull-system, just-in-time production
  • Simulations for short, mid- and long-term planning
  • Reduce setup times: SMED
  • Greater transparency (order status vs. plan) close to real-time
  • Optimize the quality management system
  • Increase overall resource productivity
  • Preventative machine maintenance: TPM
  • Utilization leveling
  • Kaizen Coaching: employee training in Lean-production and Kaizen methodology
BranchenEngineering

Engineering

Designs are developed to satisfy exact customer specifications. The engineering department must provide technical specifications for the customer`s order and create the documents required for purchasing and production, in the required quality and format. The internal relationship between design/engineering and purchasing and production corresponds to that of supplier and customer; the design engineers must deliver drawings/BOM to their “customer” (i.e. purchasing/production) just-in-time to ensure reliable delivery performance.

  • Engineering activities, work sequence and methods are not formulated as standard work processes
  • Order status is not transparent
  • The engineering process is not recorded or monitored accurately
  • Engineering tasks and processes are often not considered in the planning
  • The finite capacity in the engineering staff is not taken into consideration
  • Engineering deadlines are often not kept
  • Missing design standards (in parts selection, use of standard components, etc.)
  • Inconsistent document management

KPC has many years of successful Lean consulting experience in Engineering process. We focus on increasing overall efficiency and reducing operating costs. Right from the start KPC works parallelly: optimizing workflows while at the same time improving the processes in planning, engineering, purchasing, storage, IT, etc. Here are examples of our Kaizen approach:

  • Standardize all processes and methods in engineering
  • Transparent Planning and Controlling with finite-capacity
  • Simulations for short, mid- and long-term planning of engineering processes including availability and utilization of employees
  • Multi-process and multi-product qualification of engineering staff
  • Providing complete engineering documents on the date required
  • Leveling the workload between all employees
  • Greater transparency (order status vs. plan) close  to real-time
Neuer Call-to-Action