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The right balance between man, machine and method

We believe in the right balance between man, machine and method is the credo of Total Productivity. That sounds great, of course, but how do you achieve that balance? We ask Hans Totté, Managing Director of Total Productivity (TP).

“TP is very practical about that. We actually only sell one product and that is productivity. And we like to do that as well as possible. From that point of view, we look at the entire production process together with the customer. With every action we ask ourselves whether it actually adds value to the product and we look for the most logical layout. In this way, all wastes are mapped out.”

Avoid wastage

Waste is a broad concept. Think of material waste, but also waste of time and energy. By preventing waste, you limit the costs on waiting time, assembly time, (intermediate) stocks, errors and overproduction.

To really eliminate all forms of possible waste in the production process, we start with product design. Sometimes you can simplify the assembly process by making small adjustments to the product, thus avoiding potential error situations or saving assembly costs.

End products that do not meet specifications are the ultimate form of waste. We can achieve a lot with quality assurance. For example, we recently completed a project that required a lot of manual assembly. Here we were able to achieve a maximum failure rate of 0.0024% (24PPM) by securing the process appropriately and at the right moments.

Hardiman van General Electric

Hardiman was General Electric's first attempt at developing a practically powered exoskeleton (1965-1971).

Customer needs central

“In order to be able to advise on a suitable production set-up, you have to understand the customer” remarks Hans. “Sometimes the customer asks for a robot, but of course that is never a goal in itself.”

By finding out the problem behind that wish, you arrive at the right solution. TP is happy to be your sparring partner who can think along with you in all parts of the process.

“During the Intake, it quickly becomes clear to us which problem needs to be solved. For example, you may want to automate to improve working conditions or as a solution for staff shortages. But it may also be that production needs to be more efficient in order to shorten delivery times, better guarantee product quality or reduce the cost price.”

“At the moment we are so far that we can give people mechanical properties through automation and/or the right tools and robots human, such as vision. Based on customer needs and objectives, we advise you on the right ratio.”

exoskeleton anno 2020 (Ottobock)

Return on Investment (ROI)

In addition, it is important to obtain clarity about the Return on Investment (ROI) at that time.

This payback period is often short. The current market development shows that the life cycle of products is decreasing. In addition, the number of (customer-specific) product variants is increasing strongly. It is therefore becoming increasingly complicated to automate relatively simple operations. In these situations, the ROI often determines the degree of automation.

Reusability of machines

Sometimes there is also a wish to use (parts of) already purchased machines in the project. Or to take into account the reusability of machines in the concept for reasons of future-proofing or flexibility.

A good example is the use of industrial robots in a project. A robot can fulfill various functions and can also be used in a different configuration in the future. The investment in such a robot may be relatively high, but so is the residual value. And that in turn has a favorable influence on the ROI.

From IST to SOLL

In the Concept phase of the project, we map out the difference between the current and the desired situation and the associated performance. The current situation is the IST situation and the desired situation is the SOLL.

We elaborate this further in the final report (TP Concept Study) in the form of analyses, descriptions, calculations and a concept design. Such a TP Concept Study provides optimal insight into the expected results and provides excellent substantiation for a well-founded Go/No-go decision.

Interested in a similar project for your company?

Do you have any productivity improvement goals? Does our approach appeal to you?

Then feel free to contact us.

Hans Totté, Managing Director Total Productivity

Hans Totté

Managing Director Total Productivity

“At the moment we are so far that we can give people machine properties through automation and/or the right tools and robots human, such as vision.”