Application of Andon system and improved layout for automated body production
The Body Parts Plant has a system of modern lines and technologies, namely welding robots, pressing robots, automated adhesive systems, automated punching jigs, etc. that can manufacture car bodies that meet global quality standards. To save costs and improve production efficiency, the factory has encouraged employees to do more research on technical improvements. As a result, in 2022 alone, there were more than 102 projects which have been applied to production, saving more than VND360 million.
Since the beginning of 2023, the factory has carried out another 61 projects to improve productivity, product quality, processes, technology content, and save production costs of more than VND220 million. Most recently, the factory has successfully applied the ANDON system and improved the layout for automated body production.
At the Kia and Mazda body parts lines, the production of the hood, trunk and car door showed different shortcomings from production to storage. Specifically, Quality Control (QC) personnel had to undertake many tasks at the same time, including feeding materials to robots, inspecting and moving finished products to the storage area, taking empty shelves to the production location. The distance from the production station to the storage area is 90 meters long, equivalent to a 2.5 minute walk. During that time, robots at production stations had to stop working as there was no staff to feed the workpiece, leading to decreased efficiency. In addition, the factory did not arrange the empty shelves for production at the stations, workers then had to stop their work to move the empty shelves to the production location, which was time-consuming and unable to control the quality on each stage, once again causing low productivity and efficiency.
To fix this, many teams in the factory, i.e. the engineering, planning, quality management, operation and maintenance have coordinated to make the improvements, including changing the production layout, installing more Andon lights and whistles and reassigning work to Finishing and Delivery teams. With the new layout, after supplying materials to the robots and checking product quality, the QC worker (Finishing team) will press the signal button on the ANDON system for the delivery team's personnel to move the finished product shelves to the storage area and move the empty shelves to the waiting position, then the QC personnel will push the empty shelves to the production site to store finished products.
The project has brought practical improvements, increased capacity and reduced production costs. At the Mazda body line, 7 hoods and trunks (front and rear) production is 8 hours faster, equivalent to 43 production days faster in total, saving more than VND130 million. Likewise, at Kia body line, 10 sets of car doors production is 8 hours faster, meaning 28 days of production faster, saving more than VND40 million in 2023. The project also helped to make optimal use of human resources and efficiency at the factory.