[VIDEO] How Atlas Copco utilizes lean manufacturing
Lean manufacturing has become a way of life at Atlas Copco. The Swediesh manufacturer has taken the principles and applied them into action, helping to reduce costs, improve performance, and in the process, increase quality.
For Atlas, the days of readily accessible components are coming to an end. Instead of having materials preassembled on the line, Atlas Copco will only bring out the components the operator needs for the machine they are working on. Their new assembly lines are completely redesigned to compliment the lean methodology.
“Lean manufacturing is about the elimination of waste,” said Joris Derde, process engineer. “We concentrate on the tasks that add value to the product. We eliminate all other tasks that are not giving added value.”
Other aspects of lean include: carriers on wheels, handheld modern electrical tools to ensure the perfect amount of torque and necessary screws are used, and even a barcode-based traceability system to guarantee the right components are stored in each unit.
According to Derde, quality is the first concern for Atlas Copco.
“By implementing the principles of lean manufacturing, we reduced the total amount of components; we reduced the working time and by doing so we we’re able to reduce the amount of work stations. And we were even able to improve the quality. So it was a win-win situation.”
With the help of lean manufacturing, Atlas Copco has been able to increase on-time delivery by 15 percent, as well as improving overall quality by 11 percent. The benefits of lean manufacturing have spawned other innovative ideas.
In Wilrijk, Belgium, Atlas Copco built a new production line utilizing sustainable design and state-of-the-art production processes. According to Atlas, the facility was built in line with LEED best practices.
“The factory was built in accordance with Atlas Copco’s globally accepted Sustainable Building Standard and in line with LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) best practices has lately been certified by IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) as a GOLD rated Green Factory Building. Extra attention was given to energy-efficient design and technology to limit environmental impact and to reduce the use of energy and natural resources during the construction phase, as well as future plant operation. The project could get maximum credit points for its rainwater harvesting system. The system ensures that no rainwater will run off site during a monsoon but instead get collected in a natural pool. The collected rainwater will supplement local groundwater during dry periods.”
Before lean manufacturing
After lean manufacturing
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.