SupplyPoint offer solutions to the oil, gas, food processing and packaging industries.
• 24/7 availability
• Tool control
• Asset management
• Health & Safety control
SMIMEC S.p.A. is a company which belongs to the SMI Group and is specialized in the manufacturing of structural components, mechanical components and stamps in aluminum, steel, iron and cast iron.Today SMIMEC is a mechanical workshop at the forefront and has been constantly evolving to become more efficient in the production of many contract jobs of many different third parties. Before the implementation of SupplyPoint solutions SMIMEC was already using a vending machine to dispense the items on the shopfloor, so they were familiar with the standard benefits of the vending process, however this was not enough. When Gruppo Grazioli showed SMIMEC the SupplyPoint solutions at another customer site, they knew that it was time to make a step further with automation and implement a real and innovative Industry 4.0 Vending Solution. Today, thanks to the integrated services provided by Gruppo Grazioli, SMIMEC now has 9 vending machines spread across 5 different points of use where they stock and manage all their cutting tools, generic consumables, and PPE.
Though the company was already using a different vending system to automatically dispense items, the process was not the desired one for example, items where dispensed by package and not by single quantities as they required. This resulted into stock misalignments as the users could override the system by taking more than what they declared, therefore sometimes risking stock-outs and consequential machine downtime. An additional challenge was that, it was difficult to assign the right cost centre as the withdraws were cumulative of the same item, which was then used on different machine tools. In addition, there was no possibility to manage reworked or used items. SMIMEC needed to manage a very high diversity of items of different brand by single quantity. It was important that every user could withdraw only one item at the time with the relative cost centre. Moreover, it was also important that every worker could take only the items he could have access to with the minimum walking times.
How it Helped
Based on SMIMEC requests, Gruppo Grazioli identified SupplyPoints solution as the perfect answer to all their needs. Unified database connection of all the different vending machines on the shopfloor, possibility to monitor stocks remotely through a cloud platform, together with the interface of the Vending Machines and the Gruppo Grazioli ERP. Gruppo Grazioli offered the customer all the services connected to the Vending Machines: weekly refilling, consignment stock and automated reordering, thus giving SMIMEC the chance to outsource all the warehouse management activities and focusing on their core business increasing their productivity. Thanks to the solution implemented by SupplyPoint and Gruppo Grazioli, the company was able to reset all the fixed assets related to the warehouse stocks, receiving one single monthly invoice for all the items used. Withdrawal times were drastically reduced thanks to the positioning of the vending machines in the different parts of the plant, minimizing all the walking times for each worker. Stock-outs were set to zero using the automating re-ordering function and the supervision of the stock levels could be remotely accessed due to Websync (cloud platform).
Results & Return on Investment
After the first year the customer registered a 20% drop in items consumption (compared to their previous system), with the installation of SupplyPoint’s ROTOPOINT (PPE and generic Tools) and MODULO solution that controls single quantities with the progressive drawers opening technology. In just 2019, they registered 9675 withdrawals for a total amount of 16330 new items. In addition, for some items, all the reworking process is managed by the vending machine, increasing even further the efficiency in tool consumption. A part from the consumption reduction, major savings have been reached reducing all the hidden costs (time) of the purchasing office, administration, warehouse and workers. Very important was also the saving obtained by a more efficient process to manage orders (that are now automatic) and by the reset of all fixed costs (pay per use). Last but not least, the company has now access to a large amount of data related to their items that are periodically analysed and used to monitor consumption, manufacturing activities but also as a support during the decision making process of pricing the products.
A specialty OEM equipment manufacturer of precision equipment had developed a spare parts management system using standard steel cases. The system succeeded in assisting the end users to find and maintain the precision machinery, but failed to manage inventory and proactively drive replenishment. These tasks were left to the customer The installation of the SupplyPoint incrementally openingdrawer product solution solved this problem and took machine maintenance and spare parts management to the next level. Inventory was now automatically replenished.
- The customer was now able to maintain the equipment at its highest level of productivity.
- The customer no longer experienced unplanned equipment shutdowns.
- Critical replacement parts were available when and where they were needed.
The OEM needed to define the customers’ ROI in providing a solution. From the OEM perspective, they needed to internally document the benefits. Establishing standardized part numbering and defining each customer’s specific parts and minimum/maximum requirements were critical. The OEM had to find the key IT contact to ensure internet and network issues would be addressed. The system’s descriptions and part images had to be understood quickly by their end users. The user training had to be defined so the benefits of the system were understood from an end-user perspective. The OEM needed users to see the benefits, most importantly, having the inventory available when and where it was needed.
How it Helped
The SupplyPoint drawer-based solution could manage all the different sized parts needed by the OEM’s customers. All products including RotoPoint, cabinets and lockers were considered. The OEM was comfortable knowing other types of equipment were available if needed for future expansion. The availability of the client software was key, so the program manager could manage and control items in an ever-changing environment.
Results & Return on Investment
The OEM could now deliver key metrics on performance and save costs for their end users. Automated replenishment was one of their metrics for part availability for maintenance and repair. The spare parts revenue for the OEM grew as a result of the point-of-use system, since it now had the correct parts when and where they were needed.
The OEM is now forming partnerships with customers using the POU intelligent-vending solution, which keeps the OEM engaged in focusing on areas of improvement and support for new projects.
Reduce On-Hand Inventory - We had multiple departments ordering and storing the same MRO products
in various locations throughout the plant. These MRO supplies were used in the production process, but
they did not become part of the end product. We were looking for a solution to consolidate the amount of
inventory and purchase orders. Additionally, we needed to reduce interruptions to managers who had to
stop work midstream to unlock a cabinet or closet for an end user who needed product.
In short, we needed to:
- Obtain a vending unit to store various items from gloves to glasses to cleaning products.
- Maintain and control inventory with this new process.
- Use consignment to reduce expenditures and pay in the future.
Vendor-managed inventory (VMI) often involves the supplier’s personnel being on site to manage the
inventory. This allows staff to focus on their core functions, with the assurance that a trusted partner is
managing the MRO inventory properly. It also means that the supplier, given greater visibility of downstream demand, may be able to offer volume discounts to which a maintenance representative at the customer would not have access. Supply chain education for MRO staff and a central location of the vending machine were our priorities. Storing MRO supplies in one central location rather than keeping them in various unidentified locations was much more efficient for us. Supplier-controlled consignment inventory was what we were specifically seeking. This way, inventory would be billed on an “as-withdrawn basis,” allowing us to keep inventory and pay for it after consumption.
How it Helped
The vending machine allowed all plant employees to access the machine via their badges. Having staff swipe their badges served as a much-needed inventory control to identify and track what they were withdrawing. Supervisors had fewer interruptions, thus more time to be productive. Item traceability was available through reporting, giving us the what, who, when and how many. We no longer had inventory hidden throughout the plant in various closets, cabinets, etc., allowing us a central inventory location to monitor what our total inventory was.
Results & Return on Investment
The ability to consolidate and eliminate three suppliers into one with the vending program saved both
time and money throughout the organization. Supervisors had more time, since they did not have to stop
what they were doing to open a locked cabinet, etc. Similarly, employees no longer needed to spend time
searching for a supervisor or going to a cabinet far from where they were stationed. Centrally located
cabinets allowed them to remove items themselves. Accounting received one invoice instead of three from various vendors, reducing time spent on billing. Expansion into other locations is planned with one currently underway. Installation is complete, and the machine is in good working order.