Company shortlisted for national manufacturing award after help from RTC

The Allied Vehicles Group, established in 1993, has grown consistently to become the UK’s leading supplier of adapted and special purpose vehicles.
The biggest challenge for the business was the high levels of raw material stocks and manufacturing lead times were too long.  Through the SMAS (Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service) project, delivered by RTC’s experienced advisors the business developed a project plan. Aimed at identifying and addressing opportunities for improvement within the key manufacturing processes and ensuring optimum flow, efficiency and space utilisation throughout the production facility.

They looked at improving working processes at the Peugeot Partner Production Line, Pre-Production (ramp assembly), stores and mainline production.

The Peugeot Partner Production Line was identified as the target area, as this was the largest volume runner at the time. Initially the 10 - day project focussed on the Ramp Sub Assembly Build, and then subsequently the Mainline Kitting process from Stores, and finally the mainline production itself. Jim Barr, RTC’s Management Consultant said:

“The approach taken, was to use both video footage (GoPro Camera) and a mobile App called Work Study +6 to analyse this footage and identify the current state in each area. Several Kaizen teams were then instigated, and these worked sequentially to deliver a number of improvements in each area.

“This was further enhanced when a full time Production Engineer Colin Beckett was hired just over half way through the project. Each of these teams managed to identify a significant number of wastes, and issues regarding methods, and application, and these were worked through.”

When the pre-production (ramp assembly) area was first tackled, Jim found out that there were no systems in place, processes were spread out across the area, and there was no local configuration.

Jim continued:

“The performance measure for producing a Ramp, was on average about 3.8hrs. Using GoPro Footage, a variety of issues were identified, ranging from issues with the delivery/qty of materials, lack of the right tools, and duplication of effort, significant reworking of parts/components in situ, cluttered shelf and workspaces not optimised for production use.

“These improvements were addressed, and a new area, shadow boards, benches, material trolleys and workspace are now almost operational.”

The stores and mainline production area were also thoroughly examined, with the mainline production area proving to be a tougher challenge, due to the scale, and the limited opportunity and time to address the issues and opportunities.

“To date the project within mainline production has only focused on about 50% of the processes for the main build of the vehicle, so over and above what has been achieved (12% Improvement), this could double to around 25%”.

The use of the GoPro footage, combined with the Work Study Mobile App, has allowed the business to capture current state in an efficient and informed way. This has led to quicker identification and validation of issues, and their resolution.

Angela Horn, General Manager – Production at Allied Vehicles said:  

“This has been a tremendous experience from a personal perspective, but more importantly for the Operational Team. This has led to the business recognising the hard work and effort of the Team, two of which have been put forward for a national manufacturing award and have been subsequently shortlisted (Dec-18). This is the first part of the improvement journey for the business, changing the culture and mindset of staff, to recognise that improvement plays a key role in making the working environment, safer, more productive and rewarding at a personal and professional level.”

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