With its state-of-the-art robotic production lines, Chropynska accelerates build and assembly times in car factories worldwide, but needed to bring the same kind of slick efficiency to its own quotation and purchasing processes
Over a century ago, Henry Ford’s adoption of assembly lines transformed the automotive industry, reducing the time to build a car from 12 hours to just one hour and 33 minutes.
Today, when automation is king, robotic handlers, welders and transport lines are critical in enabling automotive manufacturers to deliver a car every 60 seconds.
The time pressures involved make the design and optimisation of assembly lines critical for OEMS. Chropynska Group has worked on this issue on behalf of some of the biggest industry names out there, including Audi, BMW, Opel, Porsche, Skoda and Volkswagen.
Established in the Czech Republic in 1992, the company begins each project by taking a 3D model of the body of a car from its manufacturer. Chropynska’s team of experts then sets about developing a customised production line for its various parts and components – a mammoth task, given the average car requires around 4,000 welding points alone.
Optimising the layout of the assembly line, selecting appropriate components, integrating automation technology, testing the line and then delivering the final set-up takes around 8 months. Sourcing the various robots and other equipment needed can eat up much of this time, since only 15% of what’s necessary is manufactured by Chropynska itself. Other supplies are either purchased from third parties or manufactured to bespoke requirements by specialist suppliers.
Chropynska has grown significantly and now has eight facilities globally. Associates from these sites are all bidding for new business on a daily basis, so consistent processes and procedures are a must-have if teams are to avoid duplication of effort and the risk of two different teams from within the company bidding for the same work.
Company executives they needed to standardise on a connected system that would give their employees access to accurate information and a centralised BOM.
A prolific user of Dassault Systèmes’ Catia V5, Chropynska turned to the company’s 3DExperience platform as its logical next step. Immediately, the Power’By function helped connect Chropynska’s existing Catia V5 files to the platform, while the software acted as a central source of information.
The addition of Delmia Ortems for planning and collaboration also helps Chropynska to use its machine tooling capabilities more efficiently, with the company less likely to have unforeseen production requirements and face costly uplift payments from suppliers as a result.
A unified BOM, accessible to all subcontractors, helps facilitate the standardisation of naming conventions for various parts, while also enabling a customer view that will show the OEM’s naming preference in parallel.
These features, teamed with improved collaboration, support a more precise quoting process and more strategic purchasing, helping to save at least 2% on material costs each year (totalling some €1 million) and lining it up for a more profitable future in automotive.