LeanwareMES manu­facturing execution system – ABB’s radical improve­ment in delivery speed, flexibility and efficiency

Leanware helped the Finnish ABB Breakers and Switches unit renew its production concept, increase its level of automation and implement an operative manufacturing execution information system to manage work and automation alongside the ERP system.

It was ABB’s goal to halve delivery times, increase quality and free up staff resources from unproductive work to value-adding work. Also the variation points needed to be close to the customer.

“Our products, which are used for industry and energy production and transmission applications, are modular. There are many rows and large amounts of products need to be delivered in a short delivery time. This requires efficient and flexible production and adequate buffering. One way of challenging your competition is to do the same faster, more smartly and more flexibly,” says Production Line Manager Jyrki Hangasmaa.

One system to control work and automation

The implementation done during the summer holiday season was finished on schedule and the new system was taken into use in stages without production outages.

“Thanks to the development project, our delivery times have halved, our buffer capacity has increased and staff was freed up for switch production. Also production prediction, flexibility and quality have increased significantly,” Hangasmaa summarizes.

Reliability and usability have increased work efficiency, ergonomics and flow.

“At first, the staff was reserved about the changes, even though it was promised that there would be no layoffs and the removed work phases would be replaced by new products. With automation, tasks have become more versatile and challenging, and the staff has been able to share their knowhow in new projects.”

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The Breakers and Switches unit of Finnish ABB is the world market leader in switch products.  The unit, which employs around 250 persons, is globally in charge for the research and development as well as sales and marketing of switch products.