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So that production runs smoothly

09-30-2021 02:49 PM CET | Industry, Real Estate & Construction

Press release from: Markilux

/ PR Agency: conzept3
Over many years, awning manufacturer markilux has developed a sophisticated system for constantly readjusting its work processes.

Over many years, awning manufacturer markilux has developed a sophisticated system for constantly readjusting its work processes.

markilux is continuously perfecting its work processes

For many years, markilux has been finetuning the processes it employs in the company. And this means its ‘Continual Improvement Process’ (CIP). It is an important tool as it ensures greater efficiency and that the continually growing order volume can be handled.

Look carefully at what works well and then see what can be done better. Awning manufacturer markilux has sensitised its employees to this, over the course of time. Currently, close to 600 Ideas are received by the company every year. Their aim is to finely adjust every small and large screw in the factory. As a result, work processes and complete routines are intended to become simpler, quicker and safer.

The CIP process has already been digitalised
‘We are talking here about the ‘Continual Improvement Process’. It is informed by essential aspects of 'Lean Management'. The idea is to create a lean, cost- and timesaving production process’, explains Michael Gerling, Director of R&D and Production. For the past 12 years, the CIP has been integrated into the company. Our personnel are trained for this at every level and even today, workshops are taking place around this subject. On top of that, the company has been in close contact with the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences for years with a view to exchanging ideas. The whole procedure surrounding the Continual Improvement Process at markilux is already fully digitalised. This puts this medium-sized company in a highly advanced position.

Take employees' ideas seriously
The ideas received from the teams are collected, categorised and then digitally sent to the appropriate specialist department. There they may be taken directly into daily practice or departments work on them together to bring them to fruition. The ideas are evaluated using a points system so as to give an indication of how important the suggestion is to the company. ‘There is strong motivation to improve things in the factory. But there is also an expectation that results should be seen sooner rather than later’, Mr Gerling says. Making procedures more efficient, therefore, only works if one reacts quickly. It shows that we are taking the employees' suggestions seriously. Within the context of the sheer volume of ideas, logistically this is not always easy. This means that in certain situations, the company software may have to be adapted or internal specialists would have to become involved who would otherwise be occupied doing other tasks. Nevertheless, the percentage of those ideas that is realised in the company is considerable according to Mr Gerling: In this year alone 272 of the 440 suggestions submitted had already been realised by the beginning of July.

Clear standards make working easier
‘This might mean missing drilling templates or a missing power socket, an optimised goods-in department, good lighting conditions and assembly tools or perhaps a workbench that can be adjusted in height.’, Mr Gerling explains. ‘Often, it is about simple but effective solutions that make working more pleasant, faster and more ergonomic. Above all, though, the focus is on standardising procedures. To achieve this, specialised personnel bring their many years of experience to bear. But, seasonal workers, too, also provide an important stimulus as they see things from a different perspective. That is extremely helpful. Within the Team, standardised sample workplaces were created. Other departments also benefit from the results by being able to adopt new standardised procedures in an adapted form. After all, in the company it is also a question of learning from one another.’

There is no alternative but to continue optimising processes
Given the current order book situation, digitally documented processes have become mandatory. They make it easier for employees to grow into the job. ‘Nowadays, we have visualised many procedures to make them easier to understand. And worksheet instructions have been reduced to the bare essentials’, Mr Gerling emphasises. For him, standardised and automated work processes are indispensable in today's world. In particular, in view of the lack of qualified personnel and the continuing growth figures. For this reason, this will remain an important issue in the years to come. The future application of artificial intelligence in the area of the CIP will be of great influence, too. On condition, supply chains continue to function smoothly. ‘The Corona pandemic has shaken things up here over the past year and a half. Even the best organisation within a company cannot compensate for such bottlenecks in raw materials. Even though we have no influence on such events, we must continue to focus on where the throughput is being slowed down and further increase our efficiency,’ is Michael Gerling's goal.

For further information, please visit: markilux.com

conzept3
An der Alten Ziegelei 34
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Fon: +49 (0) 251-1347740
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markilux stands for 'Design Made in Germany', innovative new products and excellent quality in the exterior solar protection sector. Since 1972 folding-arm awnings, conservatory awnings and vertical blinds have been produced at its manufacturing facility in Emsdetten, northern Germany. The high-quality products are distributed by professional partners in Germany and abroad. About 1,000 selected companies assure the high qualitative standards during the assembly of the awnings.

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