Looking for a workstation crane
for light loads? Heavy loads?
Or something in the middle?
With EMH, we have you
AL Systems™ aluminum rail
cranes, with exclusive EMH
T-Slot design, are surface treated,
anodized, and ideal for clean
rooms, or almost any application
up to 2,200 lbs.
For even heavier loads, ask about
NOMAD® Free Standing Cranes,
easily assembled, dis-assembled
and re-assembled, with capacities
up to 10 tons.
Proudly Made In USA
Call (330) 220-8600
Ask About Custom System Capability
FROM 50 TO 2,200 LBS
Lamp Post Style
Jib Crane Style
“We did not have an easy way to search for common ideas or communicate
ideas between facilities.”
For more, visit: NewEquipment.com/21122018
Technological advances are transforming every aspect of our lives, from virtual personal assistants to autonomous vehicle features. These advancements are moving even more quickly in manufacturing
environments, where technologies such as automated
guided vehicles and augmented reality play significant roles
in our production process.
It’s no exaggeration to say the automotive industry is experiencing more disruption now than it has in its entire history. New entrants such as Tesla and China-based Byton
are challenging long-established program management
processes, and mobility-as-a-service companies such as
Uber and Lyft threaten the traditional vehicle ownership
model. The next generation of consumers is accustomed
to a digital lifestyle with smartphones, social media and
connected devices, and the automotive industry needs to
keep up with these digital changes.
At Faurecia, we embarked on our own digital transformation journey to implement the latest Industry 4.0 solutions. As the world’s sixth-largest automotive parts supplier,
we manufacture interiors, seating, electronics, and clean
mobility technologies and must adapt to changing industry
advancements to ensure our long-term growth.
As part of this journey, we have successfully digitized
many of our KPIs and procedures, but one area remained in
an analog world: frontline employee communications.
This gap sent us looking for a digital solution to connect
frontline employees and provide a streamlined platform for
sharing ideas. We needed it to complement our preexisting
tools while adding to our digital transformation roadmap.
Since our factories are standardized around the world,
exchanging and leveraging improvement ideas should be
straightforward. However, our current idea exchange still
relied on handwritten submissions and minimal digital involvement. We did not have an easy way to search for common ideas or communicate ideas between facilities, leaving
many solutions and potential cost savings underrealized.
We ultimately settled on a solution called Rever. In March,
we started a proof of concept phase with the software at our
Saline, Michigan, facility, and have recently expanded it to
our Blue Springs, Missouri facility. In our Saline facility,
Additionally, Rever can facilitate internal
competitions to motivate users to submit ideas
and provides options for employee recognition,
such as star ratings and positive comment func-
tionality, which helps increase engagement be-
tween frontline employees and managers.
We are still early in the proof-of-concept
phase, but so far, the results are encouraging
and highlight the importance of a connected
workforce. As a global company, it is important ideas are communicated quickly and readily implemented to support our program launches around
As an example: The Ford Focus launched in three
countries: France, Thailand and the United States. Our
facilities in these regions each faced similar challenges,
meaning a common tool for exchanging ideas would
benefit our global teams.
Implementing a digital tool in a manufacturing environment is challenging and there are inevitable growing pains.
Per our health and safety regulations, press operators, who
do deal with customers on occasion and need to stay up to
date on company news and operations, are not allowed to
use their phones on the plant floor, meaning they can only
access the app during break times or after work. Additionally, in facilities with an older workforce, employees may not
have smartphones to download the app.
Neither challenge is insurmountable, but both are worth
considering as you explore digital communications solutions. One solution we implemented was the installation of
community tablets in break areas. This encourages access
to the app in a safe area and provides employees without a
smartphone an opportunity to utilize the tool.
Our digital transformation journey is far from complete,
and we must remain open to new technologies. Despite all
the advancements, human data remains just as important as
process data. Leveraging best practices and diverse ideas from
our 120,000-plus global workforce is essential, which is why
Faurecia is passionate about digital employee engagement.
Technological advancements will never slow down, but
it is important industries do not lose site of the human connection. Human-generated ideas and best practices remain
our best source of innovation and the best way to realize
these ideas is through a connected workforce.
MATT MYRAND is director of advanced manufacturing and
supply chain, North America, for global automotive supplier