ERCO GmbH Assesses Concepts for Increasing Productivity with MTM
Best Practice: Assembly Work and Internal Logistics
Which design concept is best suited to increase productivity levels in assembly work and internal logistics? This question formed the focal point for a lean project at ERCO GmbH in Lüdenscheid; the corporation is a leading specialist for architectural lighting using LED technology. Assembly layouts and supply concepts were tested at pilot cells. It was possible to assess these concepts objectively by using MTM and compare them in terms of productivity. The restructuring of the assembly cells into U-shaped work systems provided significant productivity effects – regardless of the product and the major focus of activities.
Christof Spyrka, Manufacturing Engineering Assembly/Logistics Group Leader, had taken on the task of outlining which design concept would provide the greatest gains in productivity by using the MTM-UAS analysis system. As a MTM expert, he knows that the MTM process building block systems are ideally suited to expose value-adding and non-value-adding parts of any activity and therefore determine the “efficiency level” of the layout at an assembly cell. It was particularly important in Spyrka’s view to have a procedure available in MTM, which enables engineers to plan a work system that is geared towards value added on the basis of objective data and involve the employees in the design process from the outset. “Plenty of emotions always played a huge role in the past – but by using MTM, we were able to make the discussions more objective. This smoothed the way in the project for doing the right things and doing away with lengthy discussions.”
Significant productivity effects
The productivity effects after restructuring the assembly cells into U-shaped work systems were evident in things like:
- shorter throughput times,
- declining standard times,
- lower manufacturing costs,
- improved use of the space and
- greater flexibility in processing orders.
“As the work is now so much easier at many points, the acceptance of the design measures has also increased in the employees,” said Spyrka. “That, in turn, forms a good basis for further improvements made by the employees on the spot.”
MTM workshop creates a common basis for discussions
“The topic of work design with MTM has been so well received that other employees are being qualified in MTM,” says Spyrka. He is a certified MTM Instructor and handled the introduction to the subject of MTM at the workshop himself. The aim was to sensitize the colleagues in the specialist departments involved, like development and work preparation as well as the team leaders in production and the employees in assembly work, about productivity management using MTM and inform them in order to ultimately have a common basis for discussions at the subsequent meetings. All the other MTM training courses are conducted by Deutsche MTM-Vereinigung e. V. The employees with MTM qualifications then no longer just draw up ACTUAL analyses, but plan other areas of the work system with MTM too.
Pilot project for using ProKon
One employee has already gained the qualifications for using ProKon – the MTM-based procedure for analyzing and assessing design solutions to assess how easy they are to assemble – and he has identified a relevant pilot project in the development department at ERCO.
© Erco GmbH