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Hypertherm

Hypertherm designs and manufactures advanced cutting and gouging products. They have been using NoMuda VisualFactory since 2008 and continue to develop both new and existing lean strategies with NoMuda.

Problem

Before VisualFactory, Hypertherm had another assembly procedure software application in place. This was clunky and did not link technical drawings with the Oracle Bill of Materials (BoM). It also didn’t filter the product family variations that are built and Hypertherm could not access a support service to help them.

Assembler Sharon said, “The problem with this was that I wasn’t a machine operator and I didn’t know how to read the drawings. It was hard if you weren’t familiar with what you were making. This meant that many individuals had to ask team leaders for a lot of support."

Solution

Hypertherm lists a huge number of advantages; the fact the software links directly to Oracle BoM, it’s solely web-browser based, stores all data centrally and it standardizes and improves assembly tasks.

The five business teams using VisualFactory at Hypertherm cover a vast array of different assemblies. One of the reasons VisualFactory was selected was because it is so flexible and meets all of their very different needs with the parameter tool and product option filtering.

The VisualFactory route in vRecord defines the sequence of assembly steps and verifies the correct parts are used.

When I take a break or at the end of my shift, the vScreen assembly instructions will open exactly where I left off for myself or another operator assigned to this workstation. This is efficient and ensures no assembly steps are missed. Our support team uses VisualFactory to continuously improve our processes.

“Ability to print labels on-demand, vSkills does not allow uncertified assemblers to build without a trainer and vRework allows for a smooth transition when non-conforming product is determined at inspection.”

Different business teams use different modules. For example, vKanban and vRecord combine to pick the chassis parts and build workbench assemblies to be delivered to the power supply chassis assembly line. 

That’s a power supply single piece flow line of five product families across 15 Workstations, a total of 104 unique power supply product options. It is all made possible by the VisualFactory product filtering.

Benefit
  • VisualFactory has increased the quality and consistency of documentation. It reduces the cost and time producing the documentation while being a short learning curve for authors and assemblers.
  • VisualFactory enables the assembly instructions to be filtered by the customer product request and allows the operator to see only the instructions for the product that has been ordered.
  • The VisualFactory vKanban process is enabling the team to increase output capacity by 44% with the same number of associates and no additional assembly floor space.
  • Authors no longer need to make the same change to work instructions multiple times.
  • Authors can sit with Design Engineers to bring new products to the shop floor faster with 100% accuracy.