AME Systems (Vic) has been undergoing some major changes with the first stage of the realignment of the factory taking place during the Christmas – New Year shutdown.
During this period up to 100 staff have been on the job moving equipment and ‘work in progress’ to allow for a better workflow and to reduce the time it takes for work to be completed. With the expected reduction in time this will give AME Systems (Vic) a significant competitive advantage and will assist the business in striving to be capable, reliable and sustainable in what is a competitive, complex and demanding market.
With a great deal of planning every piece of manufacturing equipment throughout the factory has moved to a new position within new areas created including Cutting and Battery, Sorting/Pre Blocking/Kitting, Pre Assembly, and Assembly Areas of Yellow, Blue, White and Green.
Staff returning to work from the break, have come back to a completely new layout and though a phasing in period has required some work to be released under the old methodology, within a few day’s work is starting to be released to manufacturing capacity. This will mean less work in progress in the factory at any one time and work will be released at a closer level of capacity.
The introduction of a proto-type/proving area will also allow for work to be proved before going into full production with the ability to fully document the process and timing ensuring operators have all the right information and timing at the beginning. It will also facilitate pushing injected or urgent work through without impacting on normal run work. Also introduced is a Kitting and Pre blocking area which again is planned to save time and give operators clear expectations when building harnesses.
Importantly for the Planning Department now with the clearer capacity measurements, the release of work across the factory will allow for smoother work flow with each process.
Commenting on the factory realignment Manager Manufacturing Dave Nichols said; “Over many, many months leading up to the factory move a lot of hard work has gone into the anticipated realignment. Everyone has been working towards the same goal and without all staff involved the project would not have happened. From early days when the Project Team first came together everyone was aware of the huge planning required and the physical tasks ahead. To the credit of the team who have driven the project and importantly kept all staff in the loop with ongoing communications we are pleased with what has been achieved so far. Also our Maintenance Team have been working with tradesman around the clock ensuring everything was in readiness for the move. Additionally we have been very mindful of the need to provide training for staff so our technical trainers and part time trainers have been busy working with staff to adjust their skill needs for the new workflow processes. We expect it will take a month or two to bed down all the processes, however are confident we are on the right track so that we can deliver responsively to our customers.”
Like others in the manufacturing industry AME Systems (Vic) is facing pressure in a competitive market with customers requesting cost downs greater than ever experienced and demands as customers now compare with off shore pricing.
To meet these ongoing challenges AME Systems (Vic) is focussed on improving the business over time in every area, department or function and with the realignment of the factory this is the next step to meeting the challenge.