Delphi Technologies, now part of BorgWarner Inc., supplies propulsion and sensor technologies to the automotive industry. We recently spoke with Alfonso Felix, VP of Global PowerTrain Operations about the impact of Smart Work Station™ at their Torreon, Mexico Plant.
To address internal quality issues and scrap that were affecting costs, the plant sought a partner whose software could supplement its existing internal controls. They selected Smart Work Station because of the platform’s fast deployment capability, intuitive interface and flexibility to meet specific and often evolving needs on the plant floor.
Challenges with High Volumes of Scrap in Sensor Components
Delphi has a number of in-house systems that are effective at tracking processes and productivity in production. However, they needed a complementary tool that could address an ongoing problem with the volume of scrap being produced.
In their Torreon Plant, they manufacture sensors with specific elements that detect specific changes or issues in how the engine is working. Due to untracked quality issues and incorrect parameters, they were producing a higher than acceptable volume of scrap, from which it was not possible to recover materials. While these quality issues did not impact customers, they led to increased materials costs. They believed they could reduce the volume of scrap by tracking and addressing key elements of the production process, but did not have a software tool that supported that level of granularity. They selected Smart Work Station to address the problem.
Reducing the Risk of Quality Issues with Smart Work Station
By implementing Smart Work Station, Delphi’s manufacturing engineers were able to address the quality issues that impacted cost. Felix cites Smart Work Station as providing the following benefits:
Flexibility to Record Data In Real-Time
Smart Work Station offers Delphi the flexibility to document key elements of the process on the floor, including the recording of personalized data to correlate with performance and quality metrics. Using checklists and digital work instructions, they have been able to ensure consistent execution of processes and measure the results of those efforts. While they normally have documentation on the floor, Smart Work Station offers additional flexibility:
“Smart Work Station offers much greater flexibility than our existing documentation on the floor. We can select and decide how to start and what we might want to include in the future.” ~Alfonso Felix
Manufacturing Expertise to Support Implementation
Another challenge faced by Delphi when evaluating other software solutions is the lack of manufacturing knowledge most vendors have. This would result in a communication gap between the vendor and the plant where the software provider may not fully understand what was needed. Smart Work Station’s team of manufacturing industry veterans fully understand the challenges faced on Delphi’s frontline and how to both communicate with them about those challenges and help address them.
“We found that the people helping implement Smart Work Station were very knowledgeable about manufacturing.” ~Alfonso Felix
Enthusiastic Support from Frontline Workers
Smart Work Station was well received by frontline workers. The user-friendly interface and the ability to use the software in the same way workers were used to using their smartphone devices allowed them to quickly onboard and benefit from the new toolset.
“Everyone has a computer in their hands all the time and Smart Work Station is just like using any other app on their phones. This led to quick adoption and support from our frontline workers.” ~Alfonso Felix
Next Steps for Continued Success
Implementation of Smart Work Station has been highly successful for Delphi, and they expect to see costs reduced to generate an 18x return on investment from scrap reduction. In addition to this tangible improvement, Felix indicates they are looking at several other use cases for the software including:
- Supporting other frontline activities like audits, job instruction updates, checklist management, maintenance routines, and error, proof, and validation, leading to a 15% improvement in their First Time Quality metrics.
- Ensuring access to real-time data to confirm that quality checks were done at the specific times scheduled, that the right operator is assigned to the right workstation, and that other audits or improvement checks have been done as scheduled, therefore increasing machine availability by 10%.
- Fast-tracking worker onboarding and training by 50%, and reducing turnover by 30%.
“Immediate access to this kind of information will save us significant resources, and likely lead to a reduction in quality issues, safety issues, and customer concerns.” ~Alfonso Felix
With an immediate impact on ROI and long-term expectations for further improvements throughout the plant, Delphi has been able to address their initial concerns. In addition, they’ve mapped out a number of future use cases that will allow them to improve quality, reduce costs, and provide better service to their customers.