Improve engineering processes

What is engineering process improvement?

Process improvement requires objective goals. One improves a process to meet an objective or goal. Therefore, process improvement is an optimisation exercise to meet those objectives.

Why improve engineering processes?

Usually, exercises are conducted because the product produced does not meet expectations, as

  • Management have decided that the product cannot be competitive in the market , or
  • the current economic climate has impacted on sales and the profit has dropped, or
  • quality is poor and warranty claims are escalating.
  • Quality is poor and manufacturing is not repeatable enough to improve quality
  • Using too many resources like material, manufacturing equipment, man-hours etc.
  • Or it is taking too long

These are typical reasons why we are contacted to improve processes.

Now that the reason is identified, an appropriate methodology is sought to make the existing product at

  1. a lower cost and

  2. better quality

Both these create a competitive edge over your competitors. As the product costs less than that of your competitors, you have an opportunity to beat them on sales price and still bring in a profit.

Better quality is also competitive. Consumers will prefer better quality and warranty claims will decrease.

This is why we focus on effective engineering, efficient processes and excellent quality to reduce the cost of realising your product.

Read effective engineering here for more information on engineering.

All to reduce the cost of realising your product at the most cost-effective way, and to ensure no warranty claims eat into your profit.

Improvement methodologies

Techniques or methodologies are typically used for:

  • lean methodologies,
  • Improving the company working culture,
  • Or to layout workflows

And are listed here plus other useful tools:

  • 5S
  • Cause and effect analysis
  • (fish bone diagram / fish bone analysis)
  • Kaizen
  • Kanban
  • PDCA
  • Process mapping
  • SIPOC (DMAIC and DMADV)
  • Six Sigma
  • Total Quality Management (TQM)
  • Value Stream Mapping

In our work we use some more than others to improve the engineering process to obtain the optimal quality and cost for products.

Why improve?

There are many reasons for improving. Streamlined design and manufacturing processes

  • minimises waste and resources
  • use less energy, and thus reducing your company's carbon footprint.
  • increases your net profit margin (rendement)
  • saves time, reducing cost of operations and resources

"We saved £18.6M for a luxury car company by improving their manufacturing process."

KPIs (key performance indicators)

Don't you just love them? They are metrics to gauge your company's financial performance, performance in operations etc.  They indicate your performance by using a score rating. The higher the score, the better. Right?

Wrong!

Often we see performance figures that look good, but the overall operation is failing. The quality is poor and the profit is down, and waste is high.

Why? A worthwhile performance metric (KPI) should relate to your profit margin. When the KPI is good, the rate of profit should go up.

The afore-mentioned is an example of how deeply we evaluate your operations.

If this is an area that interests you. Please call. We're looking forward to hearing from you.

Business operations

Efficient processes in business operations will save you money, or it could be a liability.

Establishing effective procedures and efficient processes will improve business operations. Your business has the opportunity to improve the quality of your product with workflows that deliver the correct outcome over and over again. Saving you money, so that you can reinvest in your company where you would like.

We have helped companies add value, and end waste. In one of our recent projects, we reduced the waste during production by 95%. We reduced the waste before the supplier shipped the components to the assembly line.

This was possible by reviewing the metrology data of the components before shipping.

Our aim is to cut waste wherever possible, and aim to add value with every task. A task does not add value - if it's perceived a luxury, and not a necessity.

Engineering efficient processes

Improving processes will reduce the cost of engineering. For product design, development, and testing. It will minimise the resources required and improve your product.

Big data analysis and implementation

In today's day and age, big data is common in most companies. But how many have actually analysed this data? Have any found a pattern that could improve the profitability of the company? Or could analysing that data make your company more eco-friendly? And, at the same time, more profitable?

We have performed data mining in several industries to find trends and patterns. We have analysed large amounts of data to improve processes. In both cases, the data was there, but not used to an extent that could be beneficial.

The highlights of projects, is that they were successful. We know that we please our customers, because months later, we receive a phone call to thank us one more time.

How to improve engineering processes

Case study

In 2015, we had the opportunity to solve the end quality of assembled luxury cars.

The company lost a very large amount of money during the assembly of their previous new model. It went into production a year before. When the assembled cars came off the production line, most of them failed the quality audit. (I can vouch for this company by confirming to you that they have a very robust quality process.)

During our brief, the programme manager informed us of the problem and the data, to which we had access. What we had to do, was find a solution to their problem. To develop an instrument or an analytical approach. An instrument or method that would prevent assembled cars failing the quality audit.

We had access to all the metrology data of the components for the assembly line, and that of the vehicle bodies.

During the first build of a future vehicle model, we recorded all the defects. Analysed the data. Made modifications. And prepared for the second build.

During the second build, we predicted where the defects would occur. We identified the defects and rectified them in the interim. Most of the non-compliances, and rectified in the interim.

We predicted a quality defect on only one vehicle out of 18 vehicles. Predicted before the component left the supplier.

We managed to put in place process methodologies. For assembly and quality. Thus, we had implemented a lean process and an improved quality process. Saving the company millions by avoiding waste.

Our work of streamlining the process was so successful. We reduce waste in several areas like the assembly process. The way in which the metrology data taken. The processing of the data.

In doing so, we reduced waste and unnecessary and inefficient tasks.

This is one of the ways that we can save you money. Whether it is for operations, or a continuous engineering process improvement. USING EFFICIENT PROCESSES, SAVES YOUR COMPANY REVENUE ...

This is an example of us improving engineering processes. Cutting waste, before shipping. Making the process efficient, increasing profit.