The Problem

The company is a leader in the production of high-tech plastic components for the automotive and manufacturing industries.

The extrusion unit is the heart of the plant and supplies all the other departments: the finished product warehouse, which then immediately ships to the customer; the unit where the pipes are made to measure, according to the specifications of the various customers; the departments where custom-shaped pipes are made by cold and hot pressing, with reduced assembly times on the line and improved usage experience; the department where the systems for the reduction of nitrogen oxide in waste gases are produced, which require pipes capable of keeping the fluid in a liquid state even at low temperatures.

The CEO is satisfied with the results achieved but considers it necessary to improve the process in order to:

  • Improve and simplify the organization
  • Improve efficiency
  • Strengthen skills
  • Reinforce data culture throughout the company
  • Enhance the quality of every single aspect of the company
  • Lay the foundations to expand the catalogue/the applications
  • Improve the EBITDA with particular focus on the manufacturing and supply chain areas
The Solution

An interim contract operations manager is called in to take charge of the entire manufacturing and supply chain with the following goals:

  • To coordinate production staff, supply chain and technical office units
  • To revise the production process, the layout and internal flows to improve efficiency
  • To identify the main indices and subsequent reporting to monitor the production processes
  • To identify possible modifications for the production plants in order to improve their performance
  • To coach the resources in the operation area so that they can work autonomously after the end of the interim management intervention
  • To coordinate the projects to enlarge the present plant, outsource several logistic activities and boost production capacity.
The Results

The results can be summarized as follows:

  • Revision of the organizational structure of the manufacturing area, readjustment of the teams working on shifts and coaching of the staff
  • Staff training and introduction of the “5S” (lean manufacturing) with identification of a specific resource dedicated to improvement activities
  • Daily monitoring of production and improvement of production performance: OEE of extrusion lines went from 78% (project start) to 85% (project end)
  • Computerization of monitoring and data collection in production and planning, together with the start-up of a MES system (Manufacturing Execution System)
  • Reduction of total plant waste by 3-4 percentage points (at the end of the project)
  • Definition of the strategic plan for adjustment/increase of production capacity and related investments
  • Definition of the future layout of the plant with an increase in the area allocated for production, the outsourcing of some logistics activities, the expansion of the offices and the installation of a photovoltaic system to reduce the impact of energy costs