Accuride’s Journey to Paperless Manufacturing
In recent years, you may have heard more and more businesses discuss the benefits of going ‘paperless’, from reducing their environmental impact to increasing their efficiency. At Accuride, we pride ourselves on not being a sleeping company and thus chose to actively participate in this revolution. We have spent the last four years adapting our European plant in Germany in order to become paperless – something that we are incredibly proud to achieve in early 2019.
Our journey to paperless manufacturing started by gradually removing paper from our manufacturing processes and replacing it with various softwares. Programmed by Accuride, all of our machines are now involved in our IoT networks via Wi-Fi, which allows all manufacturing orders be downloaded to the correct machine and tested easily by the operators. The data is transferred, allocating orders to each machine, which can then be selected, started and stopped by operators all at the press of a button.
Throughout the manufacturing process, the overall equipment efficiency (OEE) is monitored and the data obtained is permanently accessible for everyone involved. This allows everyone in the factory to be able to observe the progress and overall productivity in live time, encouraging high levels of throughput and motivation.
By having orders available on a database, data is easier to find and there is no risk of lost sheets of paper, as well as less time being wasted on searching for particular documents. Going paperless allows us to access our database of orders much quicker, increasing efficiency and productivity.
Computer Assisted Quality Assurance (CAQ) and Material Requirements Planning (MRP) software has further benefitted the work we do here at Accuride. We can keep a closer eye on the viability of our products by reviewing the frequency at which they are requested against the time and materials taken to produce them. Were Accuride ever to employ e-commerce, these systems could also be used to provide live updates to the customer, letting them know when their product is ready and when it can be collected in real time.
For our Chief Operating Officer, Laurent Trémolières, these systems importantly provide him with complete visibility of what’s happening on the shop floor. This allows him to monitor the production processes and also alerts him to any potential issues as soon as they arise, reducing the time it would otherwise take to report an issue and arrange for a solution.
In order to ensure as smooth a transition as possible, Laurent made sure that the whole of the company understood every step as it was taken and the effects it would have. The visibility of data for everyone in the company was also important to Laurent as it demonstrates the trust he has in his colleagues.
Overall, the journey to becoming a paperless company has improved Accuride’s proficiency and throughput, not to mention the reduction in our environmental impact by eliminating paper from our processes. We look forward to developing our processes further as technology progresses, and encourage other companies to take this transformative step.
If you are interested in working with Accuride, please contact us today via our live chat, email, telephone or social media, and one of our expert team will help you with your enquiry.