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TBC improves quality.

TBC improves quality

At Zenith Sintered Products Inc, Germantown, WI, some orders run to five million parts over three years, while others are much smaller. This creates a hybrid job-shop and repetitive-manufacturing environment.

Zenith supplies powder-metal parts for the automotive, lawn and garden, and appliance industries. Producing PM parts--a series of toolmaking, press-forming, heattreating, and finishing operations--is a fast-paced manufacturing process: from raw material to finished parts, in lots ranging to 500,000, in as little as a week.

After reviewing its operations, the company decided that the strategy of Time-Based Competitiveness (TBC) would form a key component in its drive to improve operations. Zenith defines TBC as the ability to look in on shop-floor operations, get raw data and finished reports quickly, and use that information to make daily decisions.

To achieve time-based management, Zenith turned to Pilot Systems Inc, Brookfield, WI, a Premier Solutions Provider of Hewlett-Packard computer systems. Pilot software is an integrated MRP II and job-shop package.

For its computer system, Zenith Sintered chose Hewlett-Packard's Series 9000 Model 832 computer, and set up 24 terminals in each of three sites--connected by multiplexers and modems. The 832 provides a Unix platform plus HP's Precision Architecture-RISC (PA-RISC). RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) provided the online transaction processing (OLTP) speeds needed to implement time-based competitiveness on the shop floor and in management operations.

Key modules of the shop-floor package include shop orders, labor, material, shop-order history, process sheet, subcontractor control, and scheduling.

Data capture and reporting within the labor module improved internal efficiency and provided many quality improvements. Zenith's management expects cost savings and productivity increases in the range of 20% to 25% over the next few years. The material module led to better information and improved purchasing management. Zenith reduced inventory by 20%, saving $100,000 in the first year alone.

For more information from Hewlett-Packard, Cupertino, CA, circle 163. For information from Pilot Systems, circle 164.

PHOTO : To manage the stream of production data between its machine tools and inventory software system, Zenith relies on Pilot's MRP II and Job Shop software.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Time-Based Competitiveness
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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