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Success Story

Lean, fit electric motors

Zühlke value stream mapped a production line and then worked with the client to completely restructure the existing line based on lean principles. The result was a significant productivity boost.

Task

SERVAX, a division of Landert Motoren AG, produces custom electric drive systems. At their headquarters in Bülach, the company assembles liquid-cooled motors for a leading textile machinery manufacturer. To remain competitive, SERVAX needed to reduce manufacturing costs for this product line. It commissioned Zühlke to identify areas for improvement and to implement measures aimed at increasing the productivity of the assembly process by at least 20 %.

Implementation

An expert in lean manufacturing from Zühlke used value stream mapping to analyse existing materialflows and the manufacturing process.

He then provided training for selected production staff, departmental heads and senior managers. This involved teaching them the basics of a lean approach, developing methodological expertise and establishing a company culture of continuous improvement. The project team quickly developed proposals for improving productivity. On the basis of these proposals, the management team elected to completely restructure the production line in accordance with lean principles. The restructuring process took just two days, after which production was able to restart immediately. The new model production line delivered greater clarity, better materials handling and goods flows, simplified line feeding and clearly defined daily batches. Analysis carried out a few weeks later showed a 40% increase in productivity compared to the pre-project state. This resulted in a 4% reduction in overall manufacturing costs for the production line as a whole.

Customer benefits

  • Zühlke’s approach revealed significant potential productivity improvements. It also motivated staff to address comparable improvements in other areas and to flag up their successes.
     
  • Specific measures were introduced which reduced manufacturing costs and ensured greater continuity of assembly and logistics processes.
     
  • The client now has proposals for further improvements, which will be fed into its continuous improvement process.

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