Increasing the volume of production on the same floor area? Dynamic simulation helped significantly
„You have certainly already found yourself in a situation where you could not afford to make whatsoever mistake. We experienced this when we faced the challenge of significantly increasing production for a major customer, using existing resources and without interruption of supply. We decided to try it “blind” at first. For the first time, we applied the tools of a digital enterprise, where we verified the newly designed production layouts using dynamic simulation. Thus, we were able to detect hidden bottlenecks in advance and remove them in time. At the same time, we have gained a new perspective on our production in virtual reality. If you want to go for a new, as yet unproven solution, it’s good to be able to afford to make a mistake – in the digital version.“
Customer: KROMBERG & Schubert s.r.o.
Focus: Development and manufacture of complex electrical installation systems for the automotive industry
Location: KROMBERG & Schubert s.r.o., Kolárovo industrial site, Slovakia
KROMBERG & Schubert is an international industrial company with more than 100-year history and rich experience in the field of automotive production. It is mainly engaged in the production of cable harnesses, and the company supplies components to the largest European car manufacturers. It employs more than 40,000 people worldwide. The plant in Kolárovo has been a part of the company for more than 20 years.
Increasing production while maintaining available capacities
The Slovak branch of the company faced a new challenge: it was necessary to get ready for an increase in production in one part of the manufacturing plant in Kolárovo, but this needed to be done on the same floor area (1,000 m2) and with the use of available capacities. The aim of cooperation with CEIT specialists was to design a new production layout in the part of the production floor area, in order to achieve a smooth material flow, to define the number of workplaces, the number of workers, as well as positions for work in progress.
Certainty in future decisions thanks to dynamic simulation
To meet these aims, CEIT specialists used dynamic computer simulation. It brings certainty to innovative decisions, because its task is to verify how the system of production (or logistics) processes will work after it is launched or after implementing changes to its parameters.
In addition to the production performance of the system it is possible to determine as part of the simulation also the utilization of equipment and operators, the ongoing production time, the maximum and average stocks in individual warehouses, or the impact of failed products on the required production performance. Dynamic simulation also enables verification of the system behavior in extreme situations (e.g. long-term machine failure) that can be “tested” in the safe world of a computer model. The enterprise can avoid high losses from additional modifications to a poorly designed system by such planning before the actual implementation.
The project, including simulations of 25 processes, lasted approximately three months and involved more than fifty production sites and machines. CEIT specialists focused on the dynamic verification of the future situation, also including the definition of bottlenecks. The task was to dynamically check the capacity of the equipment used in the new layout for the expected production and at the same time to find the optimal ratio of retyping production processes, to define the optimal amount of work in progress and the optimal utilization of assembly workers at workplaces. They also focused on setting the product mix with regard to the maximum possible utilization of workplaces and smooth material flows.
Outputs also in virtual reality
The design of the final production layout was preceded by a series of workshops with the KROMBERG & Schubert team. At the end of the project, the company obtained a precisely defined number of workplaces in the planned production, a proposal for a new production layout, a defined number of workers according to the skills matrix and the definition of positions for work in progress. The presentation of the project outputs took place in an original and innovative way using virtual reality. The Slovak branch of the company proudly presented the project at the international level, which is a proof of their pride of the successful cooperation.
25 simulated processes
Project duration: 3 months
Project floor area 1 000 m2
53 production workplaces and machines
We are an innovative technology company with its own research and development center, bringing complex industrial solutions to the market.