Metso Minerals is based in Tampere and manufactures crushing and screening machinery. The company has accelerated the visual management of manufacturing using LeanwareMES. The system refresh that grew from a limited-scope pilot to a development project for the entire plant, used the needs of employees as the foundation on the path to continuous production improvement.
“Due to visualizing production, the correct information is always instantly available where it is needed, from installer to sales representative. LeanwareMES has, for example, helped eliminate losses due to lack of materials and improve reaction times and throughput”, says Toni Salovuori, Production Manager.
The need to improve information flow and transparency in manufacturing led Metso Minerals to the discovery of the manufacturing execution system in 2014. Small exceptions in production may easily not be reported, as reporting relies on memory and repetition is hard to recognize without proper tools and data.
“It was a reality that an installer could reach for a component that was not there and parts were missing during assembly, even though the ERP was showing that everything was in order. The need to move from daily management to real-time monitoring and daily management also required the system to be refreshed”, explains Salovuori.
According to Salovuori, the issue with missing components was addressed with MES, as soon as actual data was available. According to the production manager, the value in the system refresh is best described in its ability to support employees in different tasks, which is also the guiding principle of the further development of the system.
“MES as a local tool helps both installers and management in daily tasks. The real-time entry of exceptions reduces the need to rely on memory. Up-to-date information also shortens the learning curve, allowing an installer to move from one work station to another quicker than before”, says Salovuori.
Participation in developing the system has been open to everyone working at Metso Minerals. Salovuori also praised Leanware’s attitude and active approach collecting user feedback.
“Systems alone accomplish nothing. It’s the people around them taking action and doing things. Close cooperation between members throughout our manufacturing team and Leanware’s project team is the secret to our success with the system refresh. It was really good to see that we were able to work face-to-face with Leanware and seek solutions in a positive manner focusing on development. Leanware has expressed a strong desire to understand and see for themselves who the system is being implemented for and why.”
The digitalization of manufacturing at the Lokomo plant has taken significant leaps forward and progressed from one production line to another. By the end of the year, half of the plant will be managed by MES and the system refresh will include all areas during next year. According to Salovuori, the interest in using MES outside of manufacturing in other areas of the organization has grown as the adoption phase has progressed. The organization’s front runner is steadily moving forward on the path of continuous improvement.
“The development work never ends and there are a lot of opportunities and plans to utilize the collected data. It is important, however, to take one step at a time and produce new content, when necessary, based on user feedback. The cooperation with Leanware has been productive throughout our journey and is still strong today”, says Salovuori.