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Is your operation 'Lean'? - Werma & the Lean Workshop Group can help

15 April 2016

The idea behind “Lean Manufacturing” is the identification and removal of all forms of wastage and non-productive activities in the production process.

Whether you are running a high volume component manufacturing operation or packaging and handling in the Logistics area you will have areas where optimisation will improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.

What is the Lean Workshop Group?

The Lean Workshop Group is not a newcomer to the industrial training scene – it was set up over five years ago by a small group of manufacturers from a wide range of disciplines each of which are specialists in the delivery of “lean” techniques and hardware to the manufacturing, logistics and service sectors.

They are Bosch Rexroth, Spitfire Consultancy & Training, SICK UK, K. Hartwall, Orgatex, Bosch Power Tools, iCart, Hurst Green Plastics and WERMA UK.

The contribution Werma can make to help an operation become “Lean”

Whether you want to monitor the performance and efficiency of production machines or manual assembly cells/packaging lines you are interested in identifying and eliminating wastage in the operation and obtaining optimised transparency of the operation.

The key features of the signal tower based wireless Andon systems from Werma are:

• Monitors and records data on the status of any machine, equipment or manual workstation in a single overview on a pc or network system.

• Low cost and easy to install – will retrofit to virtually any machine.

• Easy to use – no programming knowledge required.

How does it work?

A signal tower is fitted with a transmitter unit. The outputs to the signal tower trigger the illumination of the different status lights and this “activity” or status change is transmitted to a receiver unit plugged into the network or host PC as a date and time stamped activity. The data is then displayed on user PC’s in clear and easy to follow real time “productivity and runtime views.

Machine monitoring

If you are using the system to monitor machine status changes the display screen will show you uptime and downtime activity, piece part count if selected and enable you to generate reports and instigate further investigation into the reasons for disruption to production.

Call for action system

If you wish to deploy the system as a “call for action” system, a manual push button switch box is added to the configuration connected directly to the signal tower on, say, the work cell. The operator requires help, for example “supervision” or “stores”. By activating the appropriate button on the switch box, the status light transaction, the required service is “called” and the notification is visible on the PC in that location which is  required to respond and action taken. This notification can also be sent by e-mail to smart ‘phones or text message to traditional mobile ‘phones.

The real time and historical views of data will give the user an absolute transparency of the operation, identify fluctuations in productivity easily and identify weak spots in the process.

Improve reaction time to downtime  

A machine requiring maintenance or external intervention will, through the Andon system, provoke an e-mail to be sent automatically to the service required. In a similar way line side shortages can be signalled automatically to stores who can then take immediate steps to replenish and ensure continuity of production.

Keep it simple

As with many manufacturing philosophies we have taken on over the last 30 or 40 years most share one thing in common – the application of common sense to resolving issues and taking a “step by step” approach to improvement implementation  - Lean Manufacturing principles conform completely with this approach.

To learn more about WERMA or the Lean Workshop Group go to:

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