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KYB Manufacturing Czech: A Wireless Network Saves Time and Money and Increases Productivity

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A supplier of shock absorbers for the automotive industry.

Everything depends on the efficiency of production. We simply cannot afford any unavailability times. We have introduced a new network infrastructure that allows us to quickly and accurately move goods across the supply chain. It can be easily expanded to meet demands.
Jan Šmíd, IT Manager at KYB Manufacturing Czech

Task

To streamline stocktaking and optimize plant performance by applying a suitable system.

As demand increased, the management of KYB Manufacturing realized they had to improve operational efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing plant. It took too much time to enter stock data. New assembly lines had to be put to operation faster and the plant performance had to be optimized under the general strategy of “lean” production. Employees did not have access to applications outside their offices because no wireless network was available in the plant, so it was necessary to apply smart solutions.

KYB Manufacturing Czech therefore decided for a robust, scalable platform resistant to obsolescence. After considering several options, the company selected the proposed solution that included a unified wired and wireless platform based on the Cisco Borderless Network concept.

Solutions

Petr Odvárka, Head of Communications for Infinity a.s., commented on how the implementation was prepared: “The system was deployed in several stages: from the initial discussion with the client and determination of the client’s requirements for site coverage with the signal, i.e. from the layout of access points proposed on the basis of a submitted scheme, through measuring the signal by means of auxiliary access points, to the final drafting of the deployment, installation and configuration of the system, including verification measurements. From our experience with network deployment, we know it does not pay off to underestimate the preparatory phase because an improperly designed wireless network leads to the appearance of places with no signal; only a properly designed and implemented wireless network provides the required flexibility in the use of information systems, mainly due to the flexible rearrangement of production technologies and without the need for modifications of cabling systems, which are essential factors for price reduction and increased speed.”

Achievements

The Cisco architecture allows anybody to be connected from anywhere and from any device. Because the company expects demand to double in the upcoming years, the scalability issues were key. Thanks to the new technology, employees gained access to applications throughout the plant, which facilitated decision making and contributed to the overall acceleration of the production process.

Today, the wireless network assures uninterrupted access to the network at KYB Manufacturing Czech, which optimizes the assembly process. The company estimates that time savings will amount to five percent because it is not necessary to re-login to the network. Productivity was also significantly improved by introducing hand-held readers. Machines are no longer limited by the cable length or the cost of cabling. Thanks to this, supervisors of assembly lines managed to reduce the production time for each line by ten hours.

With the wireless network, it is possible to move machines around the plant easily and connect them to key applications such as ERP and CAD. In addition to reducing the cabling costs by the expected 22 percent, the flexible network allowed the manufacturer to make better use of its floor space and optimize its key production capacity.

Business Impacts

The company estimates that time savings will amount to five percent because it is not necessary to re-login to the network. Productivity was also significantly improved by introducing hand-held readers. Machines are no longer limited by the cable length or the cost of cabling. Thanks to this, supervisors of assembly lines managed to reduce the production time for each line by ten hours.

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