BOA Group is an innovative high-tech SME company that manufactures high-quality flexible, mechanical stainless steel components and sells them around the world to, for example, the oil and gas industry.
But ASML too, the manufacturer of chip machines, is an important customer for BOA.
The Conversion Factory has developed a tool for BOA that, through forecasting and simulation, provides better insight into the strongly fluctuating demand from ASML. This helps BOA improve the management and planning of its production process.
ASML expects its suppliers to always deliver on time, so that the production process at ASML does not stagnate. The demand for components can quickly change, for example due to ASML manufacturing fewer or more machines, but also because ASML is continually innovating. The engineers at ASML continually improve the design of certain parts and order them from their suppliers.
This subchain of suppliers for ASML comprises around 21 companies. BOA is a critical link in this chain. ASML orders directly from BOA and through twenty other suppliers: they all have components necessary for their products that are manufactured by BOA. This means that, when ASML changes something, or places an unexpected order, twenty other companies immediately call BOA for components. Consequently, BOA has to pull out all the stops to be able to meet customer demand.
Both BOA and ASML wanted a clearer picture of the manufacturing process at BOA, to facilitate further improvement and innovation. Better equipped to deal with an unstable demand.
The tool comprises an Excel file that calculates possible scenarios based on forecasting and simulation. The tool takes into account:
- The expected orders (from for example ASML)
- The necessary labor deployment
- Minimum stocks of products for immediate delivery to BOA customers.
Based on the scenarios, BOA acquires a good indication to facilitate efficient production planning.
BOA makes a distinction between the process of two types of products: slow movers and fast movers. In this case, this refers to products with an extended manufacturing duration (labor intensive) and products that demand a shorter production time.
The tool has to be reliable and flexible. The tool is used regularly to perform a number of runs in which expectations can be adjusted. This allows the tool to calculate which buffer levels are required for the various slow movers and fast movers, and what the hours of labor cost. This also provides insight into the sequential order of the components for production: slow movers first or faster movers and possible capacity constraints first. Based on this, decisions can be taken about production planning.
BOA is satisfied with the first results. To completely implement the tool and invest it with the leading role, further additions are required. For example, the addition of the actual costs, so that they can be included in the optimization of the manufacturing process.
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For additional information about the Conversion Factory and this tool, please contact Coen de Lange, email@example.com