Increase of plant availability
The automotive sector is currently facing a multitude of fast-moving external influences:
- Stricter emission standards
- Increasing competitive pressure due to new players or digitisation
- Vehicle networking
All these factors lead to new technical requirements, accelerated product lifecycles and a noticeable change in customer behaviour. In the long term, the effects of these developments on the industry are difficult to foresee.
Challenges for suppliers
Uncertainty about future requirements and product portfolios is also passed on to the supply chain, as automotive OEMs outsource large parts of the value chain. Along the value chain, planning uncertainty rises as the distance to the end customer increases. At the same time, development cycles are becoming increasingly shorter due to the drivers mentioned above. Suppliers in particular – often small and medium-sized companies – must therefore be able to industrialise and produce extensive product portfolios in ever shorter times.
Problems with medium-sized companies
Robust and transparent processes are essential if we are to survive in this challenging market environment in the long term. On the one hand, these ensure smooth and waste-free value creation. On the other hand, transparency about business transactions provides information on any remaining weaknesses and losses. Small and medium-sized companies in particular can only raise sufficient resources to react flexibly and effectively to the volatile demands of the market if production is stable and transparent.
However, our experience from numerous medium-sized customer projects shows that the reality facing these requirements is quite different:
- Obsolete plant parks
- Limited willingness of companies and employees to change
- Insufficient transparency of plant data, production figures, absenteeism and their causes
This results in high technical and organisational losses. And while these tie up valuable resources in day-to-day business, the lack of transparency about weak points makes it more difficult to implement systematic improvements. Under these conditions it is almost impossible for companies to industrialise new start-ups efficiently or to react flexibly and effectively to new market requirements.
Stabilisation of plant availability as primary goal
To make the business processes of our medium-sized customers more robust and transparent, KBC believes that individually tailored measures are necessary in addition to the usual process optimisations. The primary goal is to stabilise and increase plant availability. A compelling prerequisite for this is transparency about the processes actually used in the company, the condition of the individual plants and tools and the resulting performance.
The KBC keyword is “digital data”. We see their survey and analysis as the first stage of digitisation. With the help of this transparency on performance and losses the need for action becomes clear and the necessary optimization measures can be derived systematically. This procedure enables the robustness of direct and indirect production processes to be increased within a very short period of time and achieve transparency about one’s own weak points. All in all, we have achieved a stabilisation and a significant increase in plant availability as well as a reduction in waste.
Digital data therefore help our customers to increase plant availability and, at the same time, create the basis for further automation of production processes or for the digital networking of plant parks.