Headquartered in Hong Kong, the company is a world-leading supplier of switches, electronic modules and sensors. With locations across the globe, the company prides itself on providing reliable and high quality components for its customers from different industries, ranging from automotive parts, power tools to home appliances.
2. Business Challenge
There are multiple actions happening simultaneously at the company’s South China plant. With over 6,000 employees, the plant is an extremely fast-paced environment. It was hard for site managers to monitor and keep tracks of everything without a real-time data collection system in place.
There were ongoing issues which were difficult to resolve at first such as lack of materials and resistance to fix abnormalities. “Whenever an abnormality occurred, we would go on-site and seek answers as of why things happened the way they did.” Mentioned Mr. Li, Project Manager of the site, when asked about their production bottlenecks. “However, we noticed that many operators downplayed the issue when asked, so it was hard for industrial engineers to objectively learn of what exactly happened.”
As there was no real-time production data available, it was troublesome for industrial engineers to analyze. When identifying line bottlenecks, industrial engineers had to conduct line inspections and analyze the root causes after situations/abnormalities had already occurred. However, without a clear and full understanding of what really happened, they were sometimes all but a speculation.
On the other hand, there were usually signs when machines were about to malfunction and would be in need of maintenance. The site’s standard operating procedure (SOP) is to call in the professional technicians to resolve the issue. However, some on-site employees would spot the signs and went ahead to fix the machines themselves. Untrained hands could damage the machines more, raising costs.
One of the site’s matured lines consists of about 30 workstations. The site identified 16 crucial stations and installed cameras to be integrated into PowerArena’s data collection system.
The system generated 24/7 real-time and objective data of the production line. With an alert system in place, site managers were notified immediately when things were out of place. They were also notified when stationed workers tried to fix machines on their own.
“PowerArena’s tool combines the knowledge of an QE (Quality Engineer), IE (Industrial Engineer) and PE (Process Engineer)” said Li, “It provides insights and enables us to know in real-time whenever an unexpected situation occurs which effectively improves our efficiency when it comes to troubleshooting among other things.”
The data PowerArena collects provides industrial engineers with an objective view of their production lines. The videos recorded enable playback and identify issues that were affecting their line productivity. They are now able to quickly eliminate problematic factors and improve their line efficiency and productivity.
At PowerArena, we turn a matured line into a golden line.
Before PowerArena came in, the site already had a picture of the issues they faced. However, PowerArena helped point out some unexpected issues that the site was not fully aware of. For instance, the standard operation procedure for certain operations require workers to operate with both hands; however, through PowerArena’s AI system, it was brought to their attention that some workers were only using one hand instead of both to operate the tasks which results in lower efficiency. PowerArena pointed out the issue. Additional training was offered to resolve this issue.
With the insights on its production line gathered through PowerArena, plant managers were able to identify points of improvement and increase its productivity. Upon deployment, the site reported a reduction in working hours of 28,230 hours per year which translates to over 100% in ROI.