How car manufacturer reduces production time

Challenge
Long considered as leaders in production management, car manufacturers are adapting to the challenges of profitably reconciling what regulations force them to sell and what customers want to buy.  In repsonse, car manufacturers have been combining investment in technology to squeeze out more performance with improvements to comppex production processes.  Maintaining an efficient production process is one of the keys to protecting the pressured margins that are closely tied to the number of vehicles sold.

For one manufacturer, improving line assembly of component parts in the production line was their mission. With multiple component customisation options, managing a high level of complexity associated with product variation presented this manufacturer with a challenge.

Approach
The Plastic People were engaged to assist with two key objectives: 1) to help improve productivity by reducing manual handling time on the production line and 2) to enable the production line to extend to 3 types of vehicles of any specification within the range.  The Plastic People team brought together component parts from different locations into a single, ready to use point that mechanics could work from quickly, reliably and continually. The scope required all component parts to be housed in a robust, re-usable, orgnaised and easy to move container.  One of our key tasks was to identify a suitable plastic - a lightweight plastic but also a virtually unbreakable plastic that could be used repeatedly in a factory environment.  A plastic that would withstand all bumps and hard landings and still be of service, protecting contents held within it.  This plastic was used to create a customised plastic container with specially shaped areas inside to house and protect the required component parts and, at the same time, make their access easy for mechanics based on their order of use. The customised plastic containers were tailored to the car manufacturers environment and production requirements.  

Results
The impact of the plastic solution was huge. The introduction of the plastic customised containers onto the production line enabled this car manufacturer to minimise the cost of complexity throughout their production line operation.  Production time per vehicle reduced by 5 minutes helping this car manufacturer to harness product variation as a differentiating strength in their marketplace.  The plastic solution introduced brought additional benefits to the manufacturer in terms of it being a durable, longer lasting solution which will not require replacement as quickly as the previous solutions. Furthermore, damages (if any) can be quickly welded up reducing maintenance and downtime. Back to All Case Studies
How car manufacturer reduces production time
How car manufacturer reduces production time