CHIRON Group – renowned for its state of the art CNC controlled milling and turning machining centres – has recently switched its C-part sourcing to ROM – REYHER Order Management Kanban system, with the aim of drastically reducing resources involved in supplying and filling stock.
With in excess of 21,000 systems delivered and 60 years of experience in machine tooling, the CHIRON Group includes brands such as STAMA, SCHERER and CMS, and is one of the leading manufacturers of machining centres.
“Our focus is always on the quality of our machining centres, beginning in our supply chains at our suppliers’ premises,” says Wolfgang Ehrk, director of production, applications and logistics at CHIRON. “We have developed standardised processes and procedures that ensure consistent quality. The regular, successfully conducted certification audits underline this, at the same time spurring us on to achieve sustainable improvements.”
Kanban system for improved order and reduced effort
During 2017 an improvement was aimed for in C-part sourcing. CHIRON’s in-house logistics team was deeply involved in optimising the supply of C-parts in its final assembly. One of the aims was to supply the right fasteners for various component groups at each of its assembly plants, reducing both distance and search time during assembly. In the past, a multitude of different, at times very dirty boxes and cartons, as well as being in disarray, were the negative order of the day. This also led to a great deal of packaging waste.
“In the past resources involved in sourcing and handling Kanban C-part articles at CHIRON were generally laborious and time-consuming,” explains Christian Kalisch, head of production related and logistics processes at CHIRON. “When we were setting our aims for 2017, this is why we decided to put the existing process under the microscope and introduce improvements.”
Various suppliers and systems in the marketplace were compared to CHIRON’s needs and requirements. For the project team it was important to reduce resources involved in sourcing and supplying fasteners to a minimum, to improve ergonomics when picking constructional elements and be thoroughly aligned to Industry 4.0.
Finally ROM – REYHER Order Management was selected. This modular Kanban supply system is geared to the individual customer’s needs and operating circumstances by REYHER, to ensure reliable material supply, with little sourcing effort. The distinctive feature of this solution was the newly developed Kanban bin, deployed for the first time worldwide at CHIRON.
Order today, deliver tomorrow
The decisive criteria when selecting REYHER was, among other reasons, its reliability in supplying parts and excellent fill rate that the Hamburg supplier is well known for, bringing it down to a simple formula. “REYHER is the Amazon among fastener suppliers: Order today, supply tomorrow. CHIRON has already depended on all types of REYHER fasteners since 2008. This applies to both component and final assembly, as well as spare parts and tooling upgrades throughout the world,” states Christian Kalisch.
Automated order triggering thanks to RFID capture
REYHER’s ROM systems facilitate a building block approach such as shelving systems and bin types, as well as dedicated labelling depending on customer needs. Different approaches to data capture, with RFID technology or barcode scanning, using an MDE terminal, ensure flexibility and a high-level of automation in the Kanban processes.
The CHIRON project team was particularly attracted to the RFID solutions: ROM | FLOOR-ID and ROM | CASE ID. These unite two processes into one, gathering empty Kanban bins, and at the same time triggering orders. When the empty bin is placed in the pallet, the system recognises a need for material and triggers an order by radio signal. Data capture is carried out by ROM | CASE ID – the type finally chosen by CHIRON that has a housing with integrated RFID technology, containing the pallet to collect the empty bins. In the case of ROM | FLOOR ID data capture is carried out by an RFID floor mat. The pallet containing the empty bins is collected by the ROM team on the next delivery day and replaced with a new one.
World premiere for innovative Kanban bin
REYHER ROM | LTB Kanban bin is a real innovation and it is being used for the first time worldwide in CHIRON’s main warehouse in Tuttlingen, Germany. The ergonomically designed, stackable bin measuring 197.5mm x 297mm x 147mm has been developed in cooperation with logistics specialist SSI SCHÄFER. It offers users numerous advantages in comparison with existing Kanban bins. An innovative sliding mechanism transforms the transport box into an open fronted bin with a simple hand movement. A transparent slide-holder protects labels from soiling, damage or loss.
Labelling can be designed individually and made available in various finishes for barcode or RFID capture. “The label is always easy to read, independent of the type of shelving or the position of the label,” stresses Christian Kalisch. With the printed information, the batch can be traced back at any time to check the manufacturing date. This is a great advantage, particularly for coated materials that only have a limited lifetime.
The ROM | LTB Kanban bin is equally suitable for slanting or flat shelving systems, optimally using the storage space available. A strengthened, ribbed structure in the bin’s base ensures an ideal load-bearing capacity. Depending on the article in question, REYHER points out that the filling volume is increased by up to 28%.
The rounded inner base provides an additional ergonomic advantage, simplifying the extraction of items while wearing protective gloves.
Changeover during ongoing operations
Switching the CHIRON main warehouse in Tuttlingen to the ROM system with the ROM | LTB Kanban bins was carried out in a few days during May 2017. “The ROM service team introduced the system during ongoing operations. Thanks to the careful planning and cooperation between REYHER and CHIRON, material supplies were not affected at all,” adds Kalisch. “From project consulting to system implementation, everything ran extremely professionally, to plan and reliably.”
Since then the main warehouse has been supplied weekly by F REYHER Nchrg GmbH & Co KG. The fourteen fastener racks provide space for some 450 material positions. Together with the CHIRON factory in nearby Neuhausen ob Eck, which is also supplied weekly by REYHER, the annual bin exchange volume runs into thousands of positions.
Looking back after almost a year, for Kalisch and his team, the switch has been a complete success and the goals strived for have been achieved. The number of sourcing steps has been reduced from four to one; the filling steps reduced from eight to three. The amount of time necessary for sourcing has also been reduced by almost 81% and filling by 70%.
Upgradability as important decision making criteria
Christian Kalisch stresses the considerably improved order and cleanliness as further advantages in the main warehouse. Since the Kanban bins are delivered clean every week, gone are the days when the contents were partly repacked in really dirty bins and large quantities of packing material had to be disposed of. The time-consuming repacking of C-parts has been dispensed with.
The upgradability and flexibility of ROM – REYHER Order Management matches CHIRON’s highly held constant improvement process. Since the REYHER system has been successfully introduced as a pilot project at CHIRON and has been running seamlessly since then, it is now planned to implement it group wide. “We want to implement supplying fastener elements with the ROM system at STAMA and CMS too. At SCHERER we want to optimise it,” adds Christian Kalisch.
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
Responsible for social media and the online platforms, Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.