Due to changes in the customer's requirements with the possibility of acquiring new technology, company's expansion or ensuring greater flexibility, the company is often in need of change of the production systems. Whether the change is small or more profound, oriented locally or complexly, it is important to approach the solution systematicallyto avoid unnecessary errors and the need to reprocess those parts that have already been successfully resolved.
In iGrow Network we perceive this issue in a comprehensive way, therefore we apply the following approach and can provide support in the following areas:
A quick scan of the current state
Knowing the actual starting point greatly reduces the time for designing and implementing change and contributes to the reduction of transformation costs. If the company does not have a revised overall vision of change, we can help at this stage also with its preparation.
Defining common goals
Having only one goal defined, for example, ROI is important from the point of view of the project itself, but to maximize efficiency it is appropriate to extend this objective and address it more fully.
The most common primary requirement is usually "Logically distribute production to larger premises due to the introduction of new lines and machines". After a series of joint discussions, the customer comes to other unforgettable points such as the definition of productivity requirements, logistic parameters, quality, etc. Sometimes these requirements are contradictory and require a larger team to find the more appropriate solution.
As a result, the company gains a strong team that understands the relationships and the laws of the production systems. Setting the appropriate targets will also determine the boundaries of the project - whether only the production area or extended part, including extravilan, environmental and ergonomic requirements, the level of automation, etc., will be addressed.
Conceptual design of the future state
The aim of this step is primarily to define the basic and supportive elements of the production system. After analyzing the product base we first determine the value flow. If the flow of value is complicated and composed of multiple parts, we divide it into base blocks and then we analyze their capacities, qualitative status, inputs and outputs, etc..
It is used for the so-called "Block layout", in which the main blocks of the production systems are drawn and the basic linkages between them are defined. Of course, there is a difference between piece and mass production. This determines the placement of individual blocks, the technological arrangement, cellular production, flexible production, etc.. However, even in manufacturing, it is possible to use elements which will ensure greater flexibility of the production system, and reach the company's goals.
When creating a block layout, we often encounter the first major pitfalls - inaccurate and outdated documentation, for example, there are no production machines or devices, their service parts, the hall dimensions are differently recorded - documents don't match reality. Right at this point we recommend that you consider using 2D or 3D documentation.
Choosing the alternative
Since several concepts are taken into account in the conception, we create combinations of arrangements, almost always there are several variants. Each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. In this case, we select at least two in which the most important KPI project is recalculated and simulated.
Based on the facts, management can arrive at better decisions and solutions. We build static or dynamic simulations according to requirements. Thanks to this, the client can better understand the relationships, links and limits of the proposed solution.
Detailed design processing
After selecting the conceptual design, the draft is processed in detail, with the accuracy of the objects being placed in the range of few millimeters, rather than the layout, where measuring unit are in meters. We propose detailed numbers of pallets, crates, cartons, aids, preparations, etc.
It is necessary to aggregate the data associated not only with the main production processes, but also with data necessary for maintenance, supply, service, ergonomics, etc.. Such detailed processing has the advantage that modern trends and practices can be considered, which were not possible in the past and, moreover, with BIM.
According to customer requirements, it is then possible to create 3D visualization, either in standard view or in virtual reality. These 3D models can be used for education, problem solving, expanded reality, incorporating I4 elements.
Verification and design evaluation
There are several options for verifying the design solution from a functional or logical layout point of view. One option is to use simulation. In a company with simple processes that are not interconnected, simple simulation models and recalculations can be used.
In the production systems in which they have multiple streams, where machinery and equipment are interconnected, it is advisable to use dynamic simulation tools and precisely simulate the limitations of the production system - qualitative interconnections, production batches and alignment.
Impacts are checked in advance, before the transformation itself, when possible changes can still be made. When evaluating a proposal, it is important to check the financial contribution.
We also need to consider the costs associated with the change - building modifications, the cost of moving the equipment, the cost of retraining to the new system and, on the other hand, the expected benefits. It is recommended to proceed with the planning of the implementation after the company-wide evaluation / approval of the future state.
Implementation of the final proposal
By proposing a disposition, the process of change only begins. It is appropriate to prepare the basic documentation according to the current legislation as soon as possible, and in particular building permits, expressions of various departments and sections etc..
For detailed planning, it is advisable to think about the sequence of changes, for example, the sequence of shifts changes, inventory preparation, additional resources, temporary outsourcing.
Equally important is the promotion of change, informing employees of the reasons, benefits, and how the change will take place. Of course, good planning of implementation can significantly save money, thus ensuring faster return on investment.