Established in 1984, Eayuan Metal Industrial Co. Ltd. (EMICO) is a well-known manufacturer and caster of high-end valve products. With nearly 40 years of expertise in valve casting, the company is renowned for its precision manufacturing process and customized R&D capabilities. It has deep partnerships with major international brands, and its sales network covers the globe.
Through the implementation of lean production management, including standard working hour measurement mechanisms, process dispatch mechanisms, and lean production tracking mechanisms, EMICO has improved its operational efficiency and reduced its delivery time by 75% and inventory by tens of millions. The company precisely controls its production rhythm, optimizing digital solutions to eliminate waste.
The 3 Steps of Lean Management at EMICO
EMICO’s Chairman, Lin Yi-Zheng, shared that the company initially produced simple valve products, but after working with customers from Germany and Japan, the company was motivated to improve its quality. Improvements were made in technology, quality control, and factory management. Meanwhile, the company’s General Manager, Wu Zhong-Wei, mentioned that the casting industry is facing a bottleneck and has difficulty achieving a 100% pass rate. Due to the nature of the valve industry, which has a wide range of product types and long delivery periods, the casting industry can consider maximizing its benefits by focusing on both quality and speed.
Standard working hour measurement mechanism:
Setting appropriate manufacturing lead times
The production management specialist from EMICO, Huang Boyu, said, “It was challenging for us in the past to regulate the output on an hour or even minute basis. Only verbal communication or work records provided information about the actual implementation of production scheduling and management. This will result in wasted waiting time over the period.”
Lean management was applied by EMICO to increase transparency at the manufacturing site and create a qualitative improvement in production scheduling and planning. Zhang Hong-Ze, the consultant manager at Digiwin Software, said: “Each product’s typical working hours are measured and imported into the system. In order to hasten the transfer of the entire process, we lower production batch sizes using lean production.”
▲ Manufacturing Section Chief Lin Hong-Ru from EMICO: “After the introduction of standard working hours, the on-site staff can grasp the progress of the processing. When the existing work order is about to end, they can prepare the measuring tools needed for the next work order in advance. The overall production process time is shortened.”
▲ Manager Hsieh He-Zhen of EMICO: “Instead of production management staff hurriedly running to the site, we can anticipate when we can go offline by integrating production boards with the adoption of conventional working hours. Our staff’s workload is lessened as a result.”
As Mr. Lin, the production management specialist at EMICO, explained, the processing programs of EMICO are all stored in the machines. As each machine has limited capacity and there are tens of thousands of workpieces, sometimes workers mistakenly choose the wrong program, resulting in a large number of defective products. Some heavy workpieces even have to be scrapped, which is unavoidable.
Based on the rationality and correctness of scheduling, EMICO introduced the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) to create an intelligent plant and achieve greater production capacity and efficiency. Through the integration of MES and the machines, a machine-to-machine network is formed. The system can schedule production according to the load rate of each machine to maximize production capacity. With the help of the information platform, workers can understand the processing progress of each production line through the system, and the production output can be known every hour or even every minute.
To further improve process control and output quality, EMICO has linked product numbers with processing programs through the MES system. Whenever a production order is assigned, the corresponding processing program is automatically loaded onto the corresponding machine, saving time in searching for the correct program and thereby improving process accuracy and output yield.
Lean production tracking mechanism:
Monitoring and reviewing with real-time display boards
Through the use of both MES and EKB systems, EMICO has created a new manufacturing pace. Through the integration and synchronization of information from different departments, an instant and transparent digital platform has been established. Each department can use this platform to access the information they need, such as delivery times from subcontractors, processing progress, and expected completion times of work orders, and even the operational status of each machine can be monitored in real-time. Once a machine issue occurs, relevant departments can go to the site to check and immediately handle it through the built-in push notification system.
Through a series of optimized solutions for production scheduling and efficiency, the entire production cycle has been greatly reduced, thereby improving order delivery times. This allows EMICO to be more flexible in meeting customers’ shipping requirements.
▲ Li Wan-Jing, production management specialist at EMICO: “We can now control production down to the second of each batch, whereas before we only had control over the shipping date. Through the collection of production information, we can conduct analysis to solve production bottleneck issues.”
Lean production & intelligent manufacturing on the shop floor
Long lead times for castings, numerous revisions to drawings and processing programs – these are common problems in the machining industry. If production status cannot be controlled in real-time, it can easily lead to production waste and affect the company’s ability to meet customer delivery requirements. To address the common concerns in the machining industry, Digiwin Software, together with its intelligent dispatching platform and digital management approach, is bringing a whole new smart manufacturing journey to the industry.
According to EMICO Chairman Lin Yi Zheng, with the drive towards digitization, EMICO has ushered in a new look. Firstly, quality control has significantly improved with a decrease in the defect rate. Secondly, machine substitution for much of the work and capacity leveling has allowed us to take on more orders. In addition, General Manager Wu Zhongwei said that through this information reform, EMICO has greatly improved its operation and management. Instead of relying on experience to estimate and control operations, real-time and accurate reference information is now used. With the help of a management platform with accessible data and visible schedules, colleagues are more confident in handling their work. The team’s sense of accomplishment is driving the company forward.
Digiwin Software is helping EMICO take its first step towards digitization and transformation. With a solid foundation in information technology, EMICO is well-positioned for future success. Digiwin Software will continue to stand in the role of assisting enterprises, providing high-quality digital transformation consulting services.