This study shows how a busy factory used existing design technology to reduce costs, save up to 7 weeks in production time and release valuable land and resource to other projects.
The existing piping process required high value heavy machinery (baseplates, gearboxes, motor and oil lubrication systems) to be delivered early by suppliers so all piping could be fabricated by welders using the finished assembly as a template. During alignment they marked the location of bolting down holes onto the base-plate for drilling later.
This drilling and piping process dated back to when they used 2D design software packages. Despite upgrading to a new 3D design software, they chose not to fabricate piping or drill the baseplates to their improved designs because responsibility for accuracy would move from the welding department to the engineering department. After local coaching eliminated this fear of blame, all parties agreed to fabricate and drill to the new 3D designs and the planned activity of 8 weeks reduced to 3 weeks. This allowed the delivery of high value, supplier goods to be deferred (improving cash flow), it released valuable floor space early (increasing capacity) and enabled base-plates to be ordered pre-drilled so packages could be assembled right 1st time.
By fabricating oil lubrication pipes to existing 3D designs we eliminated the following waste: -
- Time and cost of delivering high value capital equipment.
- Time and cost to tack 1st fix piping in situ and remove it after tacking for full welding.
- Time and cost to trial fit welded pipe and remove it again cleaning and testing.
- Standing time of capital equipment and resource while pipe was sent to external 3rd party for testing.
- Time to strip the assembly for drilling and re-assemble post drilling.
Summary: All companies (SME's or Larger) can benefit from improved utilisation of technology and floor space.