Implementing an automated data collection system from production machines can significantly facilitate the work of people managing processes and responsible for the lean policy – results from the pilot implementation of the Kanri Soft application in ETO Magnetic.

The ETO Group manufactures powertrain components: solenoid valves, actuators, sensors and modules for various systems and vehicles. The company generates a turnover of EUR 400 million annually and employs over 2000 people. Founded in Germany in 1948, it operates today on a global scale with plants in the United States, Mexico, India, China, Germany and Poland. The factory in Wrocław has been operating since 2000, managed by ETO Magnetic and is the second-largest plant of the Group. It employs several hundred people – including about 30 in the R&D department – and specializes in the production of pneumatic and hydraulic solenoid valves. To increase the level of visibility into the operation of production lines and improve work efficiency, the company decided to implement a system that would more accurately and objectively measure the overall efficiency index.

Challenge

Until now, the overall machine efficiency index, called OEE, was defined in the ETO based on the so-called electronic hourly. The task of the production line operator was to describe the status of individual devices for the needs of the digital system every hour. Due to the subjectivity of these assessments and the high variability of the functioning of machines over time, the level of detail of the obtained data was insufficient. The company reacted enthusiastically to the proposal of a pilot implementation on its production line of a solution that would make measurements more objective and facilitate data collection.

Solution

During consultations with ETO Magnetic managers, Kanri Soft developed a program enabling integration with the Kanri Soft system of data loggers previously used in ETO, that is, devices reading data from machines.

– The process of objectivizing the measurements used in calculating the efficiency of the functioning of machines in ETO Magnetic required a detailed description of all states in which the client’s devices enter and a clear description of their impact on the production process. Apart from the integration with the existing data transfer devices from machines, it was the biggest challenge of this implementation says Grzegorz Golaś, CEO of Kanri Soft, responsible for implementing the system. – Thanks to the success achieved in both of these fields, we now have a modular system architecture open to the needs of individualization that can be used both in small and large-series production companies he reports. In addition to the critical functionality from the client’s perspective, which is the automated transfer of information to the system on the speed at which the machine is working and whether there are downtimes, the system allows operators to report failures, accidents and shortages. This information is automatically transferred to the foreman and the maintenance department.

Effect

From the perspective of a foreman, process engineer, and lean leader coordinating work on an ETO-equipped Kanri Soft production line, the solution is useful and fun to use. – Managers using our software as a data source expressed their enthusiasm for the solution in the evaluation questionnaire – says Golaś. – From the perspective of their work, Kanri Soft simplifies data acquisition and increases its credibility due to objectivity. By spending less time processing and verifying information, process managers have more time to create innovations that will increase plant productivity, reports Kanri Soft’s CEO. Indeed, when asked about the extent to which the application helps with their daily work, users in managerial roles gave the software an average of 9 out of 10 possible points. The simplicity of use, the comprehensibility of the information presented, and the system’s overall appearance was assessed at least as highly.