Pepperl + Fuchs - Shopfloor management implementation

Reducing the number of missing parts with 50% through shopfloor management

Pepperl+Fuchs belongs to the leading companies in industrial automation in Europe and worldwide. By its innovative solution the company has become the market leader in both factory automation and process automation area. At the area of intrinsically safe devices reached more than 25% market share in a few years. Regarding ultrasonic sensor technology the company has become a worldwide market leader.

Although the indicators for the timely fulfillment of customer orders were excellent at the Hungarian plant of Pepperl+Fuchs, due to the increasing orders sometimes the delivery was not fulfilled on time.

As the first step of the project together with STAUFEN, the initial status showed, that regular communication and appropriate escalation process of critical issues should be clarified, and also that a clear communication structure, including the systematic development of management is necessary. After the evaluation of the so called shopfloor management assessment the communication tools of leaders has been defined and developed for the lower, middle, and for the upper level of the management as well.

Amongst others the indicators of the lack of spare parts and delivery accuracy.

An important further step of the project was, that the leaders of the lighthouse area – jointly with the top management – defined the “observable behavior forms”, that ensures to sustain this system, and makes possible for an external observer to judge, how efficiently this system is working. At the first phase of the project, the daily regular meetings have been launched, aimed to deliver an overview for the "owner" of the meeting – by active participation of the subordinates – about the performance of the previous 24 hours, and to make possible a look forward for the current day. The key, is the communication based on the facts and figures, more precisely: to recognize the deviations from the quantified targets, and the agreement on appropriate countermeasures. 

After the stabilization of the daily communication the standard work of the leaders (the “process confirmation” system) was introduced - by escorting these colleagues at real situations. To handle complex problems the “A3” structured problem solving process was introduced. All this, of course, aligned to the company's unique organizational structure and processes.

On the path to set up a shopfloor management (SFM) system, the most critical last element is to introduce the mentoring of the leaders. Means a leader receives from his leader a regular and structured feedback as the integral part of the SFM meetings. All this with specific targets and by measuring the development of the leadership behavior. Furthermore as a vital part of this process the consultant has the role of a coach, holding a mirror to make reflection on mentorship behavior possible as well. So the mentor is developed along this process as well. Thus making it possible for these systems to remain functional even after the completion of the project. 

By execution of the measures identified, consistently monitored and implemented by these systems reduced the number of missing parts by 50%, improved the delivery accuracy, and at some products developed the lead time to customer significantly.