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DiBO and Sirris halve trailer delivery time by applying QRM principles

Based in Arendonk, Antwerp, DiBO has been designing and building a range of cold- and hot-water high-pressure cleaners since 1978: from portable washers through to trailers and large washing systems. The firm, which originated in the Netherlands, also offers tailor-made products for various sectors, from shipping to industrial cleaning and the cleaning of building facades. Following an audit by Plan&Co, Sirris’s innovation scheme for SMEs, DiBO embarked on a new optimisation project in 2015. The initial focus was to improve the lead time on a specific trailer assembly line.
  • Tailoring operational processes to a wider product range 
  • Cutting assembly line lead time&nbsp
  • Introducing Quick Response Manufacturing principles
 

For over 35 years, DiBO has been designing and manufacturing an extensive range of high-pressure cleaners, industrial cleaning machines, vehicle washing systems and high-pressure units. The firm has a manufacturing plant in Belgium, and sales and service branches in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

“In collaboration with Sirris, DiBO took its first steps in Quick Response Manufacturing, which is geared towards short lead times throughout the process from order to delivery.”

Controlled expansion of product range

To maximise its growth potential, DiBO is constantly expanding its portfolio of high-pressure cleaners. However, this poses a practical challenge for the company: the more variants there are on a single assembly line, the more the lead time is squeezed. To keep the lead time under control and even reduce it, DiBO and Sirris devised a series of measures to optimise various operational processes: from resource planning, parts lists and inventory and warehouse management to coordination of the production line itself.

Quick Response Manufacturing

In consultation with DiBO, Sirris decided to focus primarily on the trailer assembly line. The project kicked off with training on Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM), best practices in planning and management, and continuous improvement. The aim was to explain in detail the principles of QRM – which is geared towards short lead times throughout the process from order to delivery – while at the same time getting DiBO’s employees on board. 
 

Next, an assembly line was set up in which trailers move from one workstation to another rather than being assembled and finished entirely in one place. The warehouse supplies the necessary parts to the right workstation on a just-in-time basis, i.e. as close to the point of assembly as possible. Assemblers can work continuously without interruptions due to missing parts. Work instructions and production orders (POs) are displayed on screens. The organisation of subassemblies was also completely overhauled. To ensure a smooth outcome, the necessary adjustments were made in the following areas, in consultation with the ERP supplier:
 

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data
  • Correct structure of parts lists to enable parts to be supplied efficiently at each stage of production
  • Detailed follow-up and job registration tools.

Plenty more potential

Supported by Sirris, DiBO is implementing the action items one step at a time. The overall lead time for trailers has already been halved, from 14 to seven weeks, and not all the action items are yet fully implemented and operational. There is every chance that DiBO will be able to further reduce the lead time.