There are three key changes at Hennecke's meter and mix head site in Germany. Firstly, the site has been physically modified with walls removed between raw materials and assembly departments to help production flow. New workspaces have been built, and process rules are in place to ensure orders flow.
This, along with the just-in-time production process, is helping to speed up manufacturing of individual standardised metering machines and their assemblies.
'We make every metering machine in a five-day target including assembly and test. This shortens our production time from historically three to four weeks to five days,' explained Wildt.
It means the plant can scale up production to between 150 and 250 wet parts/year. This includes the volumes for the automotive alliance. The workflow also includes areas for pre-assembly and customisation.
Wildt added: 'Not only does this save the company money on working capital', it is about a 'cultural change which we need to drive forward.' Different ways of working have been adopted and are being ironed out. An important change is more responsibility being released to the shopfloor.
‘It's not working perfectly from day one,' he said. 'But we are committed, with iterations to get it to where we need it to be. We have started the 'HPS-train' in Saint Augustin. It is up to the team to decide how often the train stops. The goal is no stops; its speed is controlled by sales and service feeding in orders.'
This is the latest phase of modernisation at Hennecke under Wildt, which includes reducing complexity at the business. For example, from 2019, machines were designed and built at a number of sites in parallel. They are now produced at one of the company's four centres of excellence.
For example, Saint Augustin is home to manufacturing, development and design for all of the company's high- and low-pressure polyurethane machines and mix heads. Machinery for related products like slabstock, moulded foam, appliances and PU spray applications is also made at the site.
Italy is home to all of the company's laminated board business. But, as Wildt explained: 'Hennecke-OMS and OMS branded metering machines are being made at our Sankt Augustin site now for economies of scale.'