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CASE STUDY

KSW Precision Engineering

See how even the smallest of changes in your operations can make some of the largest differences. KSW found time savings of up to 30% on their production line, within just days of implementing FourJaw.

It was found that the newly established night shift activities were significantly less productive than the day shift operations at KSW Engineering, a supplier of precision engineered parts to the oil and gas industry.

The Challenge

Using the Timeline View in the FourJaw web application, KSW Engineering discovered that the night-shift was underperforming in comparison to the day shift.

Machines which run the same components day-in day-out and had been a staple part of the company’s product line for many years, were suddenly hitting problems. With no overnight manager cover of the shopfloor – a role performed by a chargehand — it was difficult, if not impossible, to determine the origins of the problem.

“Fourjaw is giving us the ability to see areas of downtime that in the past we would have had to micromanage to discover.”

— Harry Gray, Sales Manager at KSW Engineering

The Solution

The firm decided to extend the use of the FourJaw App across the factory floor to help identify where the problem was occurring and why. The App was linked up and operations managers watched with interest the numbers during the first day shift. Each machine ran like clockwork, with regular up time and down time and clear visibility of activity on the machines.

A few hours into the night shift, the app detected that an operator was taking twice as long to change over a component as his day shift colleague on one of the machines in the cell.

When asked, the busy operator, revealed that he was performing 100% inspections on all parts to ensure no scrap was produced.

The night chargehand was able to show that by checking 10% of features with the machine stopped he could safely take the part out – provided these dimensions were correct – and carry on machining the next item, completing his inspection report while machine is running.

The Results

This subtle change in operator activity produced an immediate boost productivity, going from 34 per cent on day one to 47 per cent machine utilisation on day two and constant from that day onward.

The company has also noticed an additional boost to productivity. By levelling the playing field of the shop floor, and making performance measurable and visible, the FourJaw App has tapped into a competitive streak among operators resulting in even higher levels of machine uptime.

The company said: “Overall this has resulted in time savings of around 25-30 per cent on this product line which is a huge benefit moving forward.”

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