CASE STUDY – Repair Centers Increase Manufacturing Flexibility and Efficiency

VIMANA’s IoT Solutions For Smart Manufacturing:
On-Demand Manufacturing.

Company Background

A Maintenance and Repair Service Provider operates a worldwide network of 30+  turbine service facilities. They repair, refurbish, and upgrade equipment and manufacturer OEM spare parts for the oil and gas and aviation industries. These state-of-the-art Repair Centers leverage smart manufacturing analytics to expand the boundaries of CNC machining, tooling, and process advancements to boost reliability, flexibility, and reduce their costs to serve.

Case Study - Repair Centers Accelerate Manufacturing Flexibility with Analytics.

Challenge

The Repair Centers have complex operations that require manufacturing flexibility to respond to short runs with high process variability. Their customers expect rapid repair at low costs. So, to be competitive and satisfy customers, they needed to increase flexibility and efficiency. They determined the data analytics for decision support was a promising approach to enable them to increase manufacturing flexibility while reducing repair time and costs.

Solution

VIMANA's Smart Manufacturing Analytics Transforms Data into Action to:

Optimize Availability and Reliability of Repair Assets

The Repair Centers used VIMANA’s automated data collection and data transformation to normalize and store data captured from old and new industrial assets (machine tools, welders, coating cells, cold spray machines, furnaces, and inspection equipment -CMMs) and enterprise systems. This data foundation enabled an integrated view of Repair Center operations across the globe.

VIMANA’s out-of-the-box Smart Manufacturing analytics application provided real-time visibility to performance metrics and monitored production processes to improve day-to-day repair operations.

VIMANA’s historical analysis and reporting revealed the root causals for productivity loss and predicted equipment and tooling failures. When they exceeded unplanned and planned downtime targets, automated emails and SMS alerts notified operators and managers to take corrective action. VIMANA provided the insight to establish standard performance metrics and variance thresholds for job set up time, piece to piece tool changes, and waiting for tools duration to manage and reduce waste.

Enhance Workforce Productivity

VIMANA integrated shop-floor machine data with operator and job data from their legacy MES system. Centralized operator dashboards tracked performance compared to goals so empowered workers could manage their productivity and self-improvement.

Drill-down analytics revealed inconsistent performance across shifts. Sick days and holidays, lack of skills and equipment cross-training, and running multiple machines contributed to low production due to operator unavailability. As a result, this intelligence enabled management to optimize shift scheduling, reduce Saturday shifts, and labor costs.

Lean Processes and Reduce Costs

Using VIMANA’s analytics revealed that waiting for materials and tooling availability were significant contributors to inefficiency. Operators used VIMANA’s manufacturing ticketing system to request tools in advance of the next job, reducing non-value add wait time. In summary, VIMANA’s ticketing system streamlined tool room processes.

Operational Flexibility to Meet Customer Service Requirements

VIMANA’s powerful industrial analytics and visualizations provided data-driven insights into their global assets and processes. This information enabled the Maintenance and Repair Centers to shift production on-demand to available sites dependent on asset and workforce capacity while selecting the lowest cost region. They identified Centers with excess capacity, so incremental jobs from other business sectors could be done in-house, which resulted in the company’s reduced outsourcing costs.

Business Outcomes

With VIMANA's advanced analytics, the Repair Centers:

  • Increased productivity from 32% to 71% by increasing operator availability, reducing idle time, and unplanned downtime.
  • Optimized workforce and labor costs by decreasing Saturday shift coverage by 60% and saving 773 labor hours.
  • Reduced and sustained cycle time by managing new job set-up time to 4-8 hours with VIMANA’s analytics and alerts
  • Reduced “waiting for tooling” to 10-20 minutes between parts with VIMANA’s industrial analytics and ticketing system
  • Increased operational flexibility so that jobs were routed to Centers with excess capacity at lower labor rates for on-demand manufacturing. As an example, an aviation repair resulted in a 50% savings.

© MANUFACTURING SYSTEM INSIGHTS 2020