29.07.2021 – Article by Heinz Zimmermann
Delivering great wire processing solutions is only part of the deal. Case in point: Australian Komax distributor Suba Engineering, through its equipment maintenance program, has given customer AME Systems a great performance boost.
- Suba Engineering has been very flexible in the delivery of the maintenance program and from the outset has delivered most of the maintenance on weekends to avoid impeding AME System’s five-day production process.
- Since the introduction of Suba Engineering’s maintenance schedule AME Systems has been able to confidently run all machines 24 hours a day “without missing a beat”.
- Suba Engineering’s maintenance contract, as well as bringing about peace of mind, has increased the efficiency of AME System’s cutting department which historically had suffered some 10% to 20% downtime per shift.
Suba Engineering, Australian supplier of production solutions for the electronics manufacturing and wire processing industry – and Komax’ distributor on the Fifth Continent –, knows how to keep customers happy. The company accomplishes this feat not only by providing said customers with the latest and best technologies available. But by placing a great deal of emphasis on an aspect of business that is often overlooked: consistent, preventive maintenance. And what better case to demonstrate this point than AME Systems. This Australian wire harness solutions specialist successfully develops and manufactures solutions for a range of heavy industries including transport, defence, rail, and special purpose vehicles. It has also been Suba’s largest Komax user and customer for over 30 years – starting with the Komax 21 and Komax 30, then moving on to Komax 40’s and 43’s, Komax Alpha, today running Zeta, Alpha 530 and 550 and many more. And ever since AME Systems introduced a regular contract-based maintenance program schedule for their Komax machines with Suba Engineering, the productivity of their cutting department has increased dramatically.
Solid maintenance through anticipation
Preventative replacement plays an important part in this maintenance regimen: Taking out ware parts before they cause a breakdown has significantly reduced machine downtime at AME Systems and paved the way to an overall increase in efficiency and production output. Prior to having a regular maintenance schedule there was a constant fear of an impending breakdown, halting parts of production and effecting on-time delivery. Now, AME Systems, in concert with Suba Engineering, can plan their work and resource allocation, rather than having to jump and fix breakdowns when they happen. And since the specialists at Suba Engineering know the machines in their care inside out and understand how the customer works, the people at AME Systems know they now have reliable Komax machines and can therefore plan better.
It also takes a great deal of flexibility
But how does Suba Engineering make maintenance work in the case of AME Systems? By being extra flexible: AME Systems operates around the clock for five days per week, so one weekend per month Suba Engineering sends two service engineers there and they spend Saturday and Sunday performing regular and preventative maintenance. On the following Monday morning, the engineers have a briefing meeting with the customer’s staff where they cover topics such as what they have found, what works they have carried out and what training they may need.
And flexibility, as understood by Suba Engineering, goes beyond adapting to their customer’s work schedule. AME Systems pays for the contract and parts, and in return receives benefits on spare parts. The benefits are mutual: By having such contracts Suba Engineering can plan its own staff level and staff time allocation – without maintenance contracts, they would not have the staff level they have now. This extra staff in their service department also helps them with other service work in the total marketplace, so it is a win-win arrangement for both them and AME Systems.
The happy customer speaks
Dean Pinniger, Operation Manager at AME Systems, convincingly sums up the multitude of advantages that Suba Engineering’s maintenance program has brought about: “The uptime is one thing and produces improved efficiency, better quality, and less waste. The fact that the machines now run almost faultlessly also removes management overhead, which was present daily prior to the contract beginning.” And he adds that the contract “has made life a lot less frustrating to the point that we have instigated a similar program in our Malaysian facility where we run Komax equipment also.” To have a happy Australian customer who spreads the word to a new continent – now that’s something Komax can be happy about, too.