Huge gains in quality
and productivity at Electrolux
and productivity at Electrolux
Electrolux took a quantum leap when they introduced the LEAN mindset and TAKT production method in the company and implemented a software based Takt production with REEFTvisual.
In 2007, Electrolux made a decision and took a chance. The decision was that, in connection with the rebuilding of the assembly line at the factory in Ljungby in Sweden, LEAN would be introduced and production would be controlled through a takt system. The commitment was to allow a web-based, online solution control takt across the board.
“We came from a world without any kind of takt system. Reeft presented us with a completely innovative idea to develop a software-based tact production. It was absolutely ground-breaking, but it took us less than a day to decide that it was the right way forward,” says Rikard Karlsson, Technical Manager at Electrolux.
The combination of lean and software-based takt production proved to be the right choice: ten years after launch, some of the concrete gains are that work in progress and lead time have been reduced by more than two-thirds.
“REEFTvisual is web-based and runs via a web browser. We have a software-based production plant that completely supports the changing needs and desires we have,” says Rikard Karlsson and explains: “Before, we had to go around to each machine and make adjustments if they were needed. REEFTvisual is innovative and flexible – now we can add new buttons and functions directly on the screen, control and adjust the takt, and start and stop each individual production line.”
It is Rikard Karlsson’s experience that quality drives productivity, that if you can increase quality, you also increase productivity. “One of the biggest benefits Electrolux has achieved with REEFTvisual is that we have improved both our quality and our productivity at the same time. Our productivity has increased by one fifth, and quality has almost doubled,” says Rikard Karlsson and adds: “We took control of our quality and productivity. This makes it much easier to deliver to customers on time and today our reliability of delivery is over 95%.”
Since the introduction of REEFTvisual and takt-based production, quality has almost doubled.
“The improvements have been secured in several places in production. We have particularly increased quality in connection with assembly. With REEFTvisual, our fitters can see a bill of material on a screen at their workstation, the exact assembly they are carrying out, or photos and schematics with installation instructions. If we experience that a particular assembly causes problems, we can quickly adjust the instructions and remedy the problem. Our quality loss has been halved,” says Rikard Karlsson.
The improvements in quality and productivity also feed back into Electrolux’s supply chain, all the way to raw material inventory.
“The raw material inventory at the assembly line has been reduced by a third, because we can now work with quality improvements right from the inside of the production and out to the raw material warehouse as one long, unbroken chain. We can act on the fact that a quality problem may have already occurred in connection with the picking of goods, even though it won’t become visible until it reaches the assembly line,” Rikard Karlsson says.
Reeft presented us with a completely innovative idea to develop a software-based tact production. It was absolutely ground-breaking, but it took us less than a day to decide that it was the right way forward.”
Electrolux has chosen to integrate REEFTvisual with their ERP system, an older legacy solution based on AS/400 iSeries.
“There are several benefits to integrating REEFTvisual with our ERP system. We can just enter data once, and with one set of master data, we increase the quality of our data. We can pull information between the ERP system and the production. For example, the bill of material displayed on the fitter’s screen is pulled directly from the ERP system,” Rikard Karlsson explains.