Thanks to KIS.ME, the Swiss company “Elesta GmbH” was able to significantly advance the digitalisation of manual workplaces and of key figures and thus saves valuable time every day. In this success story, we look at how this works, which KIS.ME devices are necessary for this and what challenges lie ahead.
KIS.ME makes it possible for the employees themselves to implement automatic control, depending on how many pieces are needed.
This increases the precision and effectiveness of production – a classic win-win situation.
Head of Relay Production & Planning at ELESTA GmbH
ELESTA develops and produces positively driven safety relays and electromechanical components in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. ELESTA offers tailored, fast, precise and personal service in order to support its customers in making products sustainable and reliable.
The primary fields of ELESTA are:
ELESTA GmbH can look back on a long company history and a strong tradition. Founded in 1952 as ELESTA Elektrotechnik AG, it is now part of PILZ GmbH & Co. KG. ELESTA operates in accordance with lean principles. The goal is continuous improvement in all areas of the company and further development of the products for the benefit of the customers. In 2021, ELESTA was honoured with the GEO Global Excellence Award.
ELESTA GmbH was looking for a solution to make its key performance indicators digital. Up until then, 15 minutes per day were dedicated to recording and reporting key performance indicators before the end of each shift. Once we began producing with LEAN, it was no longer appropriate for us to spend our time this way.
They wanted to make KPIs digital with a focus on transparency, effectiveness and sustainability.
If the employee has internalised operations, then it is possible to automate the recording of key performance indicators. KIS.ME collects data on-the-go, making it possible to greatly reduce the effort required and thereby increase productivity. Human calculation errors are also prevented.
Head of Relay Production & Planning at ELESTA GmbH
Each production island ends with a manually operated testing device that subjects the produced workpieces to a 100% technical (electrical) test.
Four new KPIs were to be generated: In addition to productivity and first pass yield, the focus was also on the reason for and duration of production disruptions as well as comparison of the target/actual of the output quantity.
Employees and their representatives at the respective production islands as well as supervisors and production managers should have access to the newly generated data and it should be displayed transparently via an andon board.
With KIS.ME, these key figures could be generated and communicated very well: The digital inputs and outputs of the KIS.BOX made it possible to create an interface to the testing device on the production island. The number of good parts and the further outcome (repeat parts) were documented on one input and the bad parts on another input.
KIS.MANAGER finally processes these inputs into the desired key figures of initial yield and target/actual output quantity. In case of malfunctions, the type of malfunction is documented with the KIS.BOX via a button with the help of a colour code.
The predefined colours each represent a reason why production is at a standstill. Using the second button, information is sent out to employees in real time in order to rectify the fault as quickly as possible. In addition to increasing the efficiency of communication for fault rectification, the KIS.MANAGER uses the time recording of the colour status to document and visualise the key figures productivity, fault reason and length. This means that all key figure requirements can be fulfilled by KIS.ME.
The KIS.ME Manager gives us information about the production targets, their degree of fulfilment, as well as further details such as the number of employees on the line, cycle time per day, first-pass yield, as well as occurring reasons for malfunctions. This gives us a customised dashboard that we can dynamically adapt to our goals and production lines. With KIS.ME, we were able to establish a standardised dashboard for the entire production.
The installation of KIS.ME at ELESTA GmbH impressively showed how the overall system effectiveness could be mapped transparently. Whereas in the past process faults had to be recorded by hand and evaluated laboriously, KIS.ME now prepares the required key figures conscientiously and in real time. Furthermore, disturbances are now specifically investigated and reduced. The time needed to collect and process the key figures could be reduced by 90 per cent.
Transparency in terms of performance
Improving effectiveness & reducing costs
Reduction of process complexity
ELESTA will equip further production and manufacturing lines with KIS.ME. The tried-and-tested system is integrated into the entire production process, whether for machines or also for other manual workstations. In the future, actions are to be derived from information at KIS.ME, so that ultimately the production history can also be secured for the future.
ELESTA and KIS.ME/RAFI grew together during the integration. The communication is always rapid, and KIS.ME is a strong partner at our side.
Another major topic will be the automation of production maintenance cycles. Depending on the number of units, maintenance information is automatically sent to the supplier based on KIS.ME. Currently, not enough preventive action is taken, but this should change in the future with KIS.ME and the planned maintenance automation.