VÚHŽ have been using the VISUAL information system from 2003. Throughout all company divisions, the number of newly opened production orders has multiplied several times since then. Moreover, the company opened a new coating center. The tool shop division now concentrates more on complete supplies for the automotive industry. The automation division have won several orders for the supply of level measuring devices, mostly for foreign customers. There is a rising pressure on the divisions and the divisions have to respond quickly to customer requirements. Users therefore more and more frequently seek answers to their questions in the information system.
“Our company focuses mainly on made-to-order production and minimally on small-lot production. The objective of our company is to supply our customers with high-quality products. Ability to supply high-quality products, and possibly other services, is just one side of the matter. The other, and not less important for the customer, is the ability to meet deadlines. There is growing pressure on cutting order lead times. With a few exceptions like foundry semi-products, made-to-order production does not allow us to maintain stocks. The necessity of meeting customers´ requirements and cutting production lead times has claimed optimization of the company internal processes and consequent changes in VISUAL”, says Mr. Oldřich Žák, Member of the Board.
The process of optimization of working procedures first started outside the information system, with preparing new methods, changing semi-product flows, re-grouping machines, setting up multiple-machine operation, etc. Only after that started the actual implementation of the changes in particular divisions and in the information system.
The primary objective was to provide VISUAL users with visibility, from one point, of orders shared at a given moment by multiple divisions. There are hundreds of such orders, and in addition to those orders, each division maintains its own orders. The result is a new unique tool a so-called “inter-division communication window”. In that window a planner, or even ordinary user, can – from a single point – “see” requirements throughout all divisions (including his/her own division), check meeting of those requirements and related deadlines. Moreover, he/she handles processes related with transfers of semi-products and final products between divisions.
The VÚHŽ management also decided to change and optimize processes and planning methods for the foundry division. The foundry is a specific place where it is necessary to plan for a single point – a melting furnace – several production orders of the same chemical composition, to make use of the furnace to its maximum weight capacity.
Implementation of a new barcode-based hours accounting system along with everyday resource planning for the tool shop division was the next step.
“The results of the implementation of the new processes appeared almost immediately and include visibility of inter-division flows of semi-products, reduced downtimes related to semi-product transfers, and visibility of actual costs of every single casting in the foundry. The benefits much more than compensated our work spent on item re-coding and complete re-doing of routings and procedures, and in instructing the workers in the tool shop in implementing new work accounting and monitoring methods”, closes Oldřich Žák.
Customers know VÚHŽ as a reliable supplier of mold level sensors in crystallizer in continuous casting and of special hot-rolled steel sections and centrifugal castings like milling roles, reduction and sizing rolls. VÚHŽ can offer their customers services of a new coating center furnished with advanced equipment. These services include special coating for all types of tools and molds as well as traditional metal working services. VÚHŽ is a leader automotive supplier and member of the Třinecké železárny group.