(Courtesy of Guest Blogger John Buglino, director of marketing for Optessa USA Inc., a provider of advanced planning and scheduling software)
Automotive coatings production sequencing case study results in 92% material cost savings
A Fortune 100 manufacturer invested in a next-generation production scheduling software to improve the sequencing process in its automotive factories. Before implementing the software globally, a pilot study was performed. The new software generated a 92% material cost savings and reduced production time by 77%.
An Automotive Sequencing Challenge
An automotive manufacturer needed to paint 500 vehicles in a 5-day business week. The goal was to sequence these vehicles in a way that would conserve production materials and reduce labor costs. This could be accomplished in two ways:
1. Reducing the number of color changeovers
Color changeovers occur when there is a significant difference in the type of paint or pigment intensity that needs to be applied to consecutive cars in the paint shop. During the changeover, the paint lines must be flushed with solvent to avoid bleed. Each changeover adds $500 in material costs and an extra 15 minutes of time to reset the shop for the new color. If the optimized sequence could reduce color changeovers a significant improvement in efficiency could be realized.
2. Increasing workforce efficiency
At the factory, overtime is billed at $500 per hour over the standard 8-hour shift. The goal was to increase worker efficiency and production output during the standard shift to avoid these added costs.
An innovative approach to production sequencing
The scheduling team at this automotive manufacturer favored a process that organized the production sequence based on the customer order date. The oldest order was set up to be run at the beginning of the day or shift.
But the production sequencing software approached the problem from a holistic optimization standpoint. Using the built in, powerful library of constraints, the schedulers were able to set up changeover rules to prioritize longer runs of color in the paint shop. Additional constraints were implemented to maximize the use of labor during each shift.
A superior production plan
When we compare the initial sequence with the sequence generated by Optessa’s APS software, we can see a difference.
Optessa Optimized Sequence
We see long color blocks or extended sequences of back-to-back orders that have the same color. These represent a reduction in the number of changeovers. By reducing the number of changeovers from 350 to 30, Optessa saved this automotive manufacturer $165,000 in material costs over the course of the week.
The reduction in color changeovers also saved 80 hours of production time. This time savings, along with a more efficient utilization of workers eliminated the need for overtime pay, which resulted in an additional savings of $16,250 per week.
Assuming a standard 50-week facility uptime, this factory could expect to save $8,812,500 per year. Following this pilot, the automotive manufacturer deployed Optessa’s planning and scheduling software globally.
Optessa is revolutionizing the field of advanced planning and scheduling with fast optimization technology that delivers outsized gains in manufacturing efficiency. And we aren’t just helping automotive manufacturers. We serve a wide variety of discrete and process manufacturers around the globe. Contact us for a free consultation to see how you can realize similar benefits for your organization.