Automotive MES: Benefits for Manufacturers – Lear Automotive Customer Spotlight
For automotive manufacturers, large-scale product recalls can be devastating for business. Manufacturing Execution Software (MES) systems provide defect data in real time, ensuring flawed product doesn’t leave the factory. The software also provides detailed traceability records so that in the event of a recall, the scope is confined only to at-risk products.
We recently completed a case study with Lear Automotive Electronics and Electrical Products in Shanghai, China, a customer who has been using an Aegis MES system since 2008 to maintain quality control and minimize recalled product.
In this blog post we take a look the measurable benefits the company has realized as a result.
Automotive Manufacturing Challenges
Today’s Automotive manufacturing industry faces complex demands including:
- Balancing customers’ needs for product quality, on-time delivery, and traceability while minimizing their own production costs and increasing throughput
- Automotive-level traceability requires a process control system to ensure safety-related product problems are identified and corrected before leaving the factory
- Gaps in the traceability records cannot exist because they would result in an overly narrow recall, leaving safety risks in the field
Lear Automotive responded to these challenges by implementing an Aegis MES system for increased speed, enhanced control, and data-driven visibility. After implementation, here are the benefits the Automotive manufacturer has achieved today.
Faster New Product Introduction (NPI)
An MES merges a product’s BOM data with its CAD design data to provide an intelligent dataset that allows Engineering at Lear to compare product versions instantly. Detecting these types of errors and changes would require hours to do manually.
The data is then used to rapidly create machine programs, build visual work instructions for operators automatically, and visually design an entire process routing for production. The fully-automated solution allows for faster and more efficient delivery of products to customers, saving the company valuable time and money.
Improved Control in Production
The facility has achieved process interlocking by leveraging the process flow operators create using the software. If a process station is skipped, or a defect is found that requires redirection of a product to rework, the MES system will force a re-route of the product to the proper location. The CAD-based visual rework stations enable operators to conduct repair and rework rapidly and accurately by visually mapping defects and repairs directly to actual product elements on the screen via the CAD drawings.
Total traceability is achieved by collecting and linking assembly data back to the CAD data and BOM data. Built on a fundamental understanding of the CAD design of the product, Aegis’ MES Software enables Lear operators to gather all process-related data back to the product design.
Increased Visibility for Superior Defect Collection
The Lear Shanghai facility has more than 16 real-time manufacturing analytics dashboards in use on their shop floor and factory offices, each updated immediately as data changes occur. These dashboards allow staff to create their own view with simple drag-and-drop functionality that does not require IT support.
Instant access to real-time data provides significant advantages for both operators and managers. With the visibility to real-time data including line performance, production output, defect information, and first pass yield that the proper MES system provides, quick adjustments can be made to prevent further loss due to late awareness.
Rody Wang, MES Engineer at Lear Shanghai says, “We have been using Aegis’ MES system for the past eight years, and the greatest benefit we have found is an increased efficiency in defect collection. Being able to quickly locate the defective batch allows us to minimize loss. This has helped us ensure that our customers receive the highest-quality products, and recalled product is minimized.”
Results: Successful Completion of Customers’ Quality and Traceability Audits
As the company continues its mission to “consistently be recognized as the supplier of choice,” product quality and traceability are key parts of the manufacturing enterprise that drive differentiation and success. The company uses Aegis’ MES Software to assist with the successful completion of quality and traceability audits from all of their customers.
Today, Lear’s customers span some of the top automotive manufacturers in the world, including BMW, General Motors, Volkswagen, Geely, and Ford.
- Average new product introduction time has been shortened from 24 hours to 6 hours
- Rework and debug time have been reduced by 50%
- Average assembly rework time has dropped 28%
- OEE and average productivity has increased by 10%
You can read more by downloading the full length Lear Automotive case study here.