Electronics Production | December 05, 2007
tbp electronics builds logistic center
Netherland based EMS provider tbp electronics is building a new sophisticated logistics centre in Holland for incoming and outgoing goods. It will be in full operation from next year.
Vanderlande Industries will install the system which will have to function in the near future in cooperation with the Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Isah7, the ERP-system (Enterprise Resource Planning). The logistics system will automate the flow of goods at tbp electronics. To guarantee a successful implementation, tbp electronics has called in an external specialist who will guide with his helicopter view the process side and the physical arrangement. Project manager René van Veen explains: "Vanderlande is building the mechanical system including the internal controls, Van Boxtel Software is taking care of stock management and Isah7 is running for a considerable time already as an overall business system. There are various suppliers, so there is a risk of mutual miscommunication. We intend to have a perfect interaction between these different environments in the near future. Moreover, I keep the finger on the pulse with all deliveries, so that tbp will get what has been agreed." If the objectives are reached that we have in mind, then it is possible that we will go and install such a system in our Belgian establishment as well. The system consists of two rows of racks with a crane moving in between, the socalled mini-loader. Synthetic crates (60cm by 40cm, and 20cm high) containing the goods sit in the racks. The mini-loader transports a standard crate between the two entries and the racks to a location assigned by the software. Goods of small dimensions (think of components) sit in compartments in the crate. There are crates with a subdivision in 2, 4, 8 or 16 parts, depending on the requirements. In total about 3,000 crates are housed in the racks. As the crates are segmented, there is space for about 10,000 different product units. "If no setbacks occur, then we can make some test rounds at the end of the year. If these tests are well, then we will go live ‘somewhere’ in January. I look confidently forward to it”, René said. Within the logistic trajectory Dirk Van der Borght (supply chain manager) and Hanneke van Wageningen (purchasing manager) said during a supplier day recently that one of the main problems in the production of PCBs is the availability of all components at the right moment (JIT: Just In Time). The period between order and end product is in general very limited. It is common practice that this period is only about 60 calendar days. The lead time until production has to start after 45 days, if the end product is to be ready in time. In practice many suppliers cannot fulfil such delivery times and therefore a timely reservation is necessary. It appeared from measurements within tbp that of about 20,000 purchased parts that are used, only 30% of the total components needed was present. This inconvenient situation can only be improved by a careful (rolling) forecast and a good combined action with the client and supplier. In such cases the percentage rises above 95%. The remaining 5% should be reached with a combination of an improvement plan, early warnings, etc.
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