SCHOMÄCKER suspension springs are on the road all over the world. They keep heavy commercial vehicles on track, dampen hard road shocks and ensure safe transport. Founded in 1880 and based in Melle, East Westphalia, the family business exports suspension springs to around 50 countries. For this purpose, 260 employees annually process up to 20,000 tons of steel, mainly into parabolic springs and parabolic suspension arms for truck trailers. Schomäcker Federnwerk GmbH is successfully asserting itself in the global competition by producing technically advanced springs with the greatest flexibility: 2,100 different articles are produced in the factory, some in batch sizes of only 20 pieces.
Dr. Torsten Bispink Managing Director of Schonmäcker
HYDRA has shortened our morning meetings by about 20 minutes. We make our decisions today on the basis of actual data, not estimates and assumptions.
„We needed transparency,“ is how Managing Director Dr. Torsten Bispink sums up the reasons for purchasing HYDRA. The enormous variety in the product range with the highest demands to quality and global competitive pressure calls for continuous process optimization. This challenge can only be tackled by an efficient MES: HYDRA from MPDV.
Initial attempts with a different MES solution could not convince either the management or the employees. „I ran out of patience in 2011,“ recalls Mr.Bispink. „HYDRA and MPDV have long been my favorites. I wanted a complete and flexible MES that could be easily configured and quickly customized to the constantly changing requirements of our production.
Thanks to the resolute project management by the managing director himself, MPDV was able to deliver a large proportion of production-relevant data such as status reports and machine downtimes with the help of HYDRA in just four months later. The system was continuously refined and expanded over four years, until all modules related to the production process were installed in 2016. In 2018 the module for Preventive Maintenance was finally integrated. Since then, all data has been generated via HYDRA, including time recording of all industrial employees, craftsman services and selected supplier data.
The data is read directly from the machines or entered by employees at 30 production terminals. The immediate evaluation and display of the process data allows faults to be identified and rectified more quickly. „Since the introduction of HYDRA, we have seen an increase in availability of around 10-20 percent,“ says the managing director. „One of the things we saved was a new machine.“ In addition, there are time savings for salaried employees who no longer have to walk through production to collect process data and we also achieve results more quickly in meetings as we now work with verified facts. The development department now makes only decisions based on information from HYDRA“, outlines Mr. Bispink.
In 2018, the management reset their ERP system completely. „I am convinced that without HYDRA we would have had more difficulties,“ says Mr. Bispink. „What use is an ERP if I feed it with target data? We now have correct actual data. On this basis, reliable pre- and post-calculations are possible.“
Employees were involved in the integration of the MES right from the start. „This enabled us to achieve a near-standard implementation,“ explains Mr. Bispink. That means to save costs and time. „Often we had modified our systems due to constraints and then got used to suboptimal processes. Returning to the standard improved everything. Today, nobody wants to work without HYDRA. Recently an employee said the following: Producing without HYDRA is like driving a car without a seat belt.“