Sapa Heat Transfer focuses on SMED and increases productivity by 10%

SAPA Heat Transfer (now Gränges AB) is partly an automotive supplier and faces high demands with zero defects, short lead times and well developed products. This requires high productivity and a stable processes with predictable deliveries. In turn, this makes the need for short set-up times, standardized work methods, and above all, a safe working environment.  

Pilot project

Production Leader Per Nilsson explains; “Previously, we used to have poorly updated instructions and the results of SMED project was doubtful. After running a pilot project with Solme it was clear that AVIX SMED makes the analysis much easier and it becomes clear what is realistic to achieve.” AVIX is a visual system and clearly shows possible improvements to both productivity and economy. Unnecessary movements and bad ergonomics is very easy to identify with the help of the video. 


Sapa Heat Transfers first natural step was to run a pilot project to verify the system’s full potential. Per Nilsson continues; “During the pilot project we were met by knowledgeable and dedicated staff from Solme, they were also available for support and feedback during the implementation.” The implementation of AVIX took about six months, but is not considered as anything bad. It gave the time to firmly establish the purpose and get people involved. This is a key point in the implementation because it takes time to change behaviour and the way of thinking. In the end, the pilot project laid the groundwork by ensuring transparency and openness to everybody involved.

The results?

AVIX has helped to create new method standards for SMED, and the long term goal is to also print instructions directly from AVIX . The use of AVIX has resulted in high productivity and stable processes where productivity has increased by more than 10%. Moreover, the attitude of the operators is affected positively when everyone sees the benefits of improvements and standardized work. Differences between shift teams have been significantly reduced and the work method between the operators as well. “Who does what” has great effect on the resetting time in environments with multiple operators.

 It is easy to find these improvements because in AVIX it is easy to visualize multiple operators and how their work method affect the whole. This is an important point, because as a pure bonus, a better division of work load between operators has led to less stress, even though more output is produced.

The union?

Swedish IF Metall’s local chairman: “We welcome the use of AVIX as it increases profitability and helps focus on ergonomics. For the use of AviX to be successful it is important to work together and let the operators have influence and participation.” This is something that we at Solme really agree to. IF Metall continues; “Moreover, the use and purpose of AVIX needs to be firmly established throughout the company.”

Is filming a problem?

The use of so-called action video cameras attached to the operator that only records what the operator sees, has radically reduced the opposition against filming. Using video as documentation is powerful! If everyone can agree on what the process looks like, it is much easier to discuss how it can be improved.