After extensive investigations and analyses by TRUMPF, MERZ GmbH initially invests in modern, fully automated machines. They are set up in the production hall in such a way that they can subsequently be connected to fully automated STOPA high bay storage racks. Tim Ungerer was impressed by the interaction between machines and stores from the start: “We didn’t have any automation worth mentioning before. The high bay storage racks finally give us the flexibility we need.” Ungerer is able to halve the number of employees who load and unload machines, allowing him to use the workforce elsewhere. Productivity increases noticeably and throughput times decrease. “I also wanted the orderly and efficient material flows from the high bay storage racks to be present on the floor as well. And there is no way to do this without software,” explains Ungerer. He decides on a comprehensive Oseon production control package from TRUMPF.
Each process step is controlled by Oseon - from work preparation and production planning to the automated programming of orders with the TruTops Boost software, and ultimately to a digital message that an order has been completed. Every workstation is equipped with tablets und each work step, from beginning to end, is registered by employees via an app. "The mobile access to all information makes their day-to-day work easier. And I have the advantage of knowing where an order is at the drop of a hat and when is it completed," says Ungerer, delighted.
Within a very short time, the automation by means of the high bay storage racks and the advantages of production control on the shop floor align. “We have increased our capacity from three tons of thin sheet per day to ten to 15 tons. That is a ballpark number," explains Ungerer. In addition to more efficient processes and transparency, Oseon also demonstrates optimization potential through extensive data collection at all workstations. “The bending stations were a bottleneck for us,” reports Ungerer. "With Oseon we now have the option of managing bending pools." All bend orders are collected there and I can assign each bender entire order queues over several weeks. “That makes this work step much more predictable and efficient,” he says happily.
"I wanted to introduce the software as quickly as possible," says Tim Ungere, adding: “This only worked because my employees were supportive of the project from the start.” Because such a comprehensive change demanded a lot from everyone. "All processes changed. We had to rethink everything," recalls Ungerer. “But after six months of gritting my teeth, the success curve increased exponentially from week to week. That motivated everyone."
The commitment of the TRUMPF software and process specialists was another success factor, says Ungerer: “They supported us throughout the entire time and made adjustments and optimizations until everything was right.” Nobody knows better than Tim Ungerer that this process is dynamic and therefore there is always a next move and the process is never finished. “I still have a parking space for the TRUMPF specialists,” he says with a smile. “But in the meantime my employees are getting along well with the new processes and programs and are happy that things have become easier and everything is more manageable.”