Plant Simulation software used to redesign assembly facility for automotive parts manufacturer

Leading automotive parts manufacturer redesigns assembly facility using Tecnomatix plant simulation software

Originally founded in the Netherlands in 1977, WP Group part of the KTM/Husqvarna Group and based in Austria. While WP Performance Systems GmbH develops suspension components such as shock absorbers, steering dampers, front forks and frames as well as exhaust systems for motorcycles, WP Components GmbH designs and manufactures oil and water radiators for motorcycles and performance vehicles. Whenever there is a trophy to be won in motorcycle racing, you will find components and subsystems of the WP Group at the starting line.

Using a digital twin helps WP secure the company’s future as a leading supplier of radiators for motorcycles and cars

WP Performance produces 400,000 radiators per year in more than 200 different custom-made products. Although this quantity is not particularly high for automotive components, the volume has grown rapidly since the production facility opened in 2012, and so has model variety. Increasingly, assembly workers had to work overtime to meet the production requirements. In his bachelor’s thesis at the Technical University of Graz in 2014, Fabian Steinbacher, project manager at WP Performance Systems, conducted a material flow analysis of the radiator assembly process.

In a second project, Steinbacher investigated the feasibility of various concepts to rearrange the radiator assembly. To build and optimize the digital twin of the radiator assembly facility, he used the Plant Simulation solution in the Tecnomatix® portfolio. The software enables him to simulate different scenarios in a realistic manner, optimizing the internal material flow. Using the 2D and 3D capabilities of Plant Simulation, Steinbacher was able to create a functional model of the entire radiator assembly facility, including the workers at their stations, within a few weeks.

WP Performance Systems’ Business Challenges



  • Increase production of radiators

  • Offer great model diversity

  • Reduce cycle times

  • Remove material flow bottlenecks

  • Reduce process steps


Keys to Success with Plant Simulation software



  • Implement Plant Simulation software

  • Create digital twins of radiator assembly facility

  • Optimize workplace layout and tool arrangement

  • Implement a batch production strategy

  • Simulate production cycles


Results



  • Doubled daily output

  • Decreased overtime costs by 85 percent

  • Reduced net processing time by up to 23 percent

  • Reduced work-in-process by 60 percent


Read the complete WP Performance System success story

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/tecnomatix/plant-simulation-software-used-to-redesign-assembly-facility-for-automotive-parts-manufacturer/