case study

Reliable and visible real-time data enables improvements to down-time, change-overs & OEE

Kongsberg Automotive provides world-class products to the global vehicle industry. The products enhance the driving experience, making it safer, more comfortable and sustainable.

The company is headquartered in Kongsberg, Norway, and has 32 production facilities worldwide. The product portfolio includes seat comfort systems, driver and motion-control systems, fluid assemblies and industrial driver interface products developed for global vehicle manufacturers. Kongsberg’s facility in Normanton, UK, produces fluid transfer systems. It has faced huge price increases for key raw materials over the past few years, and this has driven a need to step up the CI (Continuous Improvement) culture within the business to support the aim of reducing total manufacturing costs.

"Prior to its involvement with Gemba Solutions, the business was collecting OEE data via a manual system. This was time-consuming and generated data with errors"
Michael ward, normanton’s plant manager

"This had an impact on not only day-to-day issue resolution but also made it difficult to select the highest priority long-term improvement projects." 

The Pilot

After demonstrations of various real-time OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) systems, the team at the Normanton plant decided to pilot Gemba’s Efficiency software on 4 lines and as Gemba’s solution was more cost-effective than the other systems Kongsberg had considered, financial approval for the project was straightforward. “Whilst the use of OEE was known within Kongsberg, this was a new technology to us.

"The support we received from the entire team at Gemba ensured we had a quick and seamless introduction"
michael ward, normantom’s plant manager

"Their skill and knowledge was hugely beneficial in ensuring the relevant people were well-trained in using the system".  "Once the system was generating real-time data, production meetings began to have more meaning with actions based around fact and not what we thought was happening." 

"Due to the real-time nature of the data, we were able to quickly set up hourly checks on line to try and create a culture of fixing problems as they happen & the easy to print OEE shift reports were used to demonstrate the impact of these actions for everyone in the business to see."

The Benefits

"We have seen many benefits from using this system, all of which have combined to increase the overall OEE by 23% over the past 6 months," said Michael. This improvement has been achieved mainly through the reduction of total down-time on all 4 lines which the team has seen drop from as high as 47% to 15%. This has enabled management to redeploy the weekend shift to other areas of the business. "We have also used the system to support improvement activities such as SMED, where we have seen our change-over time reduced by 38%," commented Mick. "This has been achievable because we now have a good understanding of the real issues that were happening across all shifts."

"We have seen many benefits from using this system, all of which have combined to increase the overall OEE by 23% over the past 6 months,"
Michael ward, normanton’s plant manager

Based on the success of this pilot project, the Normanton team has now been given approval to introduce Gemba’s solution across their biggest department, where it will monitor an additional 28 lines.

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