Investigate: process optimization a necessity

Industrieslijperij Van Frankenhuyzen is a leading company in the production of metalworking tools for a range of industries such as space and aviation, mining, moulds and templates and the automotive industry.

Van Frankenhuyzen was experiencing problems with long lead times during the production of tailor-made diamond cutters. The creation of one-off, single items was time consuming and costly due to the many manual steps involved in the production process. This also led to a high margin of error. Together, we outlined the desired destination: to fully automize the production process for the organization and for the end client, in order to shorten delivery times and minimize the margin of error.

Organize: embrace the primary business process

Together, we shared all the available knowledge and information, to the extent that the primary business process of Van Frankenhuyzen became almost a second skin. This ensured we were fully equipped for the next stage of the journey. The time that we spent during the this first phase was more than worth it. By starting small and subsequently taking small steps, we were able to quickly test the concept in the market.

Develop: online product configurator

We translated all the information we had gained into the web application This is an online product configurator with which the end clients design their own diamond cutter themselves, according to their specific requirements. The eventual design is translated online and in real-time into a 3D model, so that the client can properly determine whether his/ her cutter configuration is correct. Once the end client is satisfied with the design, he/ she immediately receives a quote online!

As soon as the client accepts the quote, all the data is transferred to the ERP system and production is directly initiated. What is unique about this system is that the data is also sent online to the CNC and laser machines, meaning the machines are always running, without the setup times well-known throughout the industry: 24/7!

With the Smart Industry web application, Industrieslijperij Van Frankenhuyzen now produces 24/7 with a margin of error of 0. Its lead times are now less than five working days, where the industry standard is six weeks.  And because all the setup times have been removed from the production process, the price of the products is no longer dependent on the batch size.

Techniques used: JDI backoffice in Play framework and Zabbix monitoring.

Optimize: opportunities with the configurator

The advantage that Industrieslijperij Van Frankenhuyzen has gained with the online product configurator is maintained through continuing to explore where the opportunities still lie. For instance, more products have since been added to the configurator, besides the diamond cutter.