The productivity project we bring to you this time consists on finding a solution that reduces the labor cost at the end of a tube manufacturing line.
Our client is a company specialized in the manufacturing of steel tubes.
The manufacturing process of steel tubes requires the involvement of too many workers.
In fact, at the end of the manufacturing line, tubes accumulate before they are taken to the storage location for the finished product. The batches arrive discontiually and the tubes intertwine with each other.
On the storage location for the finished product, these intertwined tubes are separated and manually put inside an hexagonal package, where they are later strapped. This operation is performed by 2 or 3 workers in 3 shifts.
What the client is looking for
This company needs an innovative solution to reduce the labor cost in this process with a reasonable investment in new tools and equipment.
The solution must be a design of an installation that forms hexagonal packages and straps them with plastic foil or burlap. Ideally, the workers should only feed the installation and pick up the completed packages.
Acceptable solutions can cover different requirements, depending on the depth of the application.
- Level 1: Automation of the formation of the hexagonal packages in the storage location for the finished product.
- Level 2: Automation of the formation of hexagonal packages at the end of the line, so that they arrive completed to the storage location for the finished product.
This is a 3‐round tournament with the following timing:
- 1st round: 6 weeks to present solutions + 2 weeks for evaluation
- 2nd round: 4 weeks to present solutions + 2 weeks for evaluation
- 3rd round: 2 weeks + 1 week evaluation
The evaluation criteria in each of the rounds of the tournament for the proposed solutions are:
- Complies with required cycle time requirements (6 sec.)
- Feasibility evidence
- Business case. 1 year payback.
- Lower investments and/or cost. Required investment in tools and machinery should be below 120-180 K€ depending on the payback.
- Preferable feature: Can be integrated into each end line
The winner will be awarded with a 8.000€ cash prize for case level 1 or with a 12.000€ cash prize for case level 2.
See more details and a video once you take the challenge!