Vreden/Horstmar, December 2014 – Fresh from its success in winning an award in 2010, the Schmitz Cargobull competence centre in Vreden has once again been awarded the ’Automotive Lean Production Award’ for the category ’International Middle-Sized Company’.
Alongside major original equipment manufacturers BMW, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Bosch and Continental, Schmitz Cargobull’s plant in Vreden, which manufactures refrigerated and box trailers, was named as one of five winners of the international benchmark study performed by Automobil Produktion and Agamus Consult. Experts from both of these organisations worked with the applicants to evaluate the implementation of lean principles in their factories.
Getting to the top thanks to effectiveness and lean production
“The lean activities in Vreden focus on employee integration, up to and including apprentice training. This is key to creating even more efficient and customer-oriented production processes,” explained Plant Manager Michael Timmermann at the awards ceremony in Barcelona, Spain.
The lean principles implemented back in 2010 could be taken one step further thanks to the use of innovative new methods such as Scrum (an effective management method for development projects) to help enhance processes in all areas. One of the primary outcomes of this process is the significant improvement to lead times in production: Around 85% of all trailers are completed within just six working days after the order being placed.