Newtec, a privately owned SME, develops and produces highly technical complex satellite communication equipment. Customers include local telecom companies, but also companies like Al-Jazeera and CNN.
Flexibility is key to Newtec. Each product is customer-configured using predefined modules, which are adapted to the latest technological innovations on an almost daily basis.
Newtec transformed itself into a digitised factory. Starting with digitising production instructions for a few thousand different products to taking up the challenge of having all information in the right place at the right time during production.
Provan, a family-owned metal components supplier, has one simple goal: zero inventory. This means ever-smaller series and a lot of production changes during the day. Provan organised itself to be able to process 3000 orders a month without having a planning department. Linking office cells with the production dept, a digitally implemented 'quick response manufacturing system' made it possible to turn every production department into its own planning hub.
This means that every machine operator independently decides what they will produce next. Of course, an intelligent ICT-system supports them in making the right decisions. As a result, employee involvement is extremely high at Provan. Moreover, work-in-progress inventory levels decreased by a factor 9 and assembly throughput times moved down from 4 weeks to a mere 3 days.
Quick response manufacturing, or throughput time reduction, means 'smaller batches for much quicker customer delivery and much less stock'.
New or adapted product requests from the customer can be addressed much faster, through excellent employee engagement in autonomous working cells, combined with extreme cross-training.
“Instead of competing on price, we nowadays compete on time.”