CNH: Tractor assembly now twice as fast
CNH (Case New Holland) Austria is a globally operating manufacturer of tractors and a market leader in this field. The company is part of CNH Global, a subsidiary of Fiat Industrial. CNH Global arose from the merger between Case Corporation and New Holland in 1999. CNH Austria manufactures Case and Steyr tractors.
CNH Austria has been a customer of IGH Automation since 1995. The company consistently uses AQIs for quality assurance, starting with the subassembly test and continuing through to the delivery test. In tractor production, various test stands are available for testing the drivers' cabs and arm rests, and also a dynamometer. Test PCs are also available in the lines for detecting errors during tractor assembly.
Benefits to CNH
- Turnaround times are halved
- Digital information, thus analysable and traceable
- Transparency in the production process thanks to the consistent use of AQIs for quality assurance, starting with subassembly testing and continuing through to the delivery test
- Early recognition of errors thanks to digital Fault Management and error tracking right through to the finished product
- Production optimisation by analysis of the reporting
Works manager Hans-Jochen Keßler, and Klaus Schaundegl, quality assurance manager, answer questions relating to this AQIs project.
The AQIs rework control was installed at CNH (Case New Holland) Österreich GmbH in St. Valentin (Austria) in 2001. Its fault detection system records all tractor faults that occur during production and stops delivery of the tested tractor until the fault has been remedied. Via the archiving and analytical functions of AQIs, tractor builders can exactly ascertain which faults occur most frequently, in which situations, etc., and thus effectively improve the production process.
Why did you need to invest in your test and measuring systems?
Mr. Keßler: The whole testing process was previously handled on paper. We had no realistic alternative for evaluating this data. All faults occurring during assembly are now recorded electronically together with their data.
Mr. Schaundegl: This enables us to effectively process faults and precisely analyse the related data, i.e. locate weaknesses in the assembly process and make specific improvements based on sound data.
Why did you decide for the AQIs solution and against other solutions?
Mr. Keßler: The decision to choose AQIs was because of the good experience we had made with the cab test stands of IGH. This investment was a basis for the new solution. It was also combinable with the CAQ system CASQit9000 of Böhme & Weihs, to which the same applies as to AQIs. In this respect, we already had components on which we could build.
What did you want to achieve with the investment?
Mr. Schaundegl: Data transparency and archiving as well as the benefit of extensive data analysis. We simply wanted to know exactly what happens in the assembly process and use the data produced during quality inspection.
Mr. Keßler: In the past, we had so much paper work, it took days to deal with specific issues. Now, we are able to trace each assembly of every tractor individually within the shortest time. As a result, we have at last a basis for initiating effective improvements in assembly.
Which of your objectives were achieved thanks to the AQIs solution and which were not?
Mr. Schaundegl: We are now able to precisely trace the faults that occur most frequently and record the time it takes on average until a faultless tractor is produced by the end of assembly, testing and repair. In the three years since using the AQIs system, we have been able to reduce the number of faults per tractor to a third. This is a significant advance in quality assurance.
Mr. Keßler: Or, in more precise terms: The process optimising measures we were able to initiate on the basis of AQIs data, have halved the turnaround time of our tractors in assembly, testing and fault elimination - simply because we have far fewer faults to remedy. All in all, a substantial increase in productivity. This is more than we could ever have hoped for when we ordered AQIs.