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Pneumatic cylinders made to order

23 July 2007

Asco/Joucomatic Numatics now offers an extensive range of pneumatic cylinders - made to order - with a four-hour delivery time. By adopting Lean manufacturing techniques at the company’s Skelmersdale, Lancashire manufacturing plant, the work force has been able to streamline manufacturing processes to such an extent that orders received before 1pm can be ready for despatch the same day. The customer then has the option to have the cylinder delivered by taxi, by overnight courier or to collect.

“By manufacturing to order we are able to supply exactly what the customer needs,” said Jean Christophe Serkumian, managing director of Asco/Joucomatic Numatics in the UK. “When purchasing from stock there is often a compromise to be made between what is available and what is needed. Our team has worked extremely hard to bring about changes to our manufacturing processes [so] that we are able to offer this industry leading service.”

The adoption of Lean techniques has eliminated wasted time and unnecessary paperwork from the manufacturing process, the company states. As an order is received it is immediately posted to the computer system which the team leader continually checks. Providing the order can be completed within the requested timescale it is acknowledged and entered into the production plan. If any of the necessary components are not available then the order is rejected; however this currently represents less than .002% of the total. If a requested delivery cannot be made due to stock shortages then the customer is immediately contacted with an expected delivery date.

“We have applied the same Lean manufacturing techniques to our solenoid valve and coil manufacture,” said Harry Vicary, works manager. “This enabled us to reduce our manufacturing costs such that we now produce solenoid coils for the whole of our European organisation and not just for the UK. In 2002 we made 100,000 coils and we should make two million during 2007.”

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