Ericsson in Katrineholm supplies products and services, like switches, routers and media gateways, for mobile as well as fixed Internet. Their specialization lies in rapid introduction of new products. This calls for development of methods for products to be quickly produced and distributed directly to customers in large volumes.
Problems with stoppages of up to one hour per shift made Ericsson in Katrineholm to search for a tool giving overview and control of the times in the production lines. A pilot project gave the opportunity to test and evaluate AVIX live and discuss the challenges and opportunities with Solme. Jonny Olausson, Process Engineer at Ericsson Katrineholm: "The pilot project was essential. Earlier I had some doubts that AVIX could meet our needs, but during the pilot project Solme showed all the features and techniques we needed. Two months later AVIX was running".
Ericsson in Katrineholm is a highly flexible production organization that can quickly change volumes and articles. Great focus is put on customer order lead time, which means that great focus has to be put also on e.g. processes lead times. Jonny again: "Effective resource planning and an independent and reliable production is the most important factors to keep costs down and to have an efficient production. Previously we measured working methods with pen, paper and stopwatch. Balancing was impossible because it was not possible to determine how the overall balancing was affected by a change".
NEW PRODUCTION LINE
It was the means to get a clear overview of times, methods and balancing, despite lengthy processing times and very large product mix in the same line, that made Ericsson chose AVIX. Now a brand new production line has been created where AVIX is used for station-sharing and capacity calculations. Better balancing has led to less operator stress and improved quality and productivity. Before the introduction of AVIX, the stoppage time in the production lines was in average more than 1 hour/shift. Now it is stable at around 15 minutes as a first step to continuous improvement.
A frequently sensitive subject is the video shooting. At Ericsson both the pilot project and the implementation was preceded by an open dialogue with concerned trade unions. Although the staff were initially a bit suspicious about being filmed, no one thinks of it anymore as there are no hidden agendas with the filming. It is simply about collecting data on the method used. The analysis often involves an operator and it is voluntary to be filmed. The general view is that AVIX is the only reliable way to quickly and structurally collect data on the working method and the balancing conditions.