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Design and control of modular production architecture

The target of the MPA (Modular Plant Architecture) -Project was, to develop a method to realise a machinery and equipment implementation to be prepared for dynamic changes in production- programmes and volumes.

RBET's focussed object of the MPA (Modular Plant Architecture) approach and development was a Production Line (Starter armature production line). This line is a typical example because of its high variety and medium of high complexity.

In workpackage number 1 RBET Analysed strategy and objectives for modularisation and elaborated a modular line structure in the reference line of starter armatures (Reference Architecture, Platforms and Modules construction). In order to implement the mentioned modular structure all the constructive changes required were Identified and partly realised. At this stage RBET developed a method for changes in production modules evaluation and Elaborated a concept for controlling and continuous adaptation of modular plant architecture.

In workpackage number 3 RBET chose a ‘production line restructuring’ as a real case study to carry out the MPA pilot project. The production line selected was the starter pinions line because of its high potential of complexity reduction as one of the standardised works for the Bosch Production System.

RBET intention, employing MPA methodology for the restructuring, was to validate the development tool proofing the utility of the workpackage number 1 approach.

The main results obtained with the Pinions line restructuring are:
53% line space reduction, 55% machines reduction (owing to the operators utilisation grade increase) and 33% operators required reduction (owing to the layout optimisation).

RBET is a Cost Center of the Energy System Division of Bosch. RBET is one of the leading plants in Europe for supplying Starter Motors and Alternator for almost every car company in the world. The company produces with 1300 employees over 5 Mio. products every year on highly automated production lines. The principle goal of RBET is to serve the customer world-wide with top quality.

Since the environment in its markets is increasingly competitive, RBET needs to cut costs constantly down. An important factor of cost is the investment. As the market asks for innovation, the product cycles decrease, but RBET cannot afford to reinvest 100 % for a new product.

The main MPA objective at RBET is to get a new concept of production, which allows:
- To renew parts of production in case of usage new technologies or machine with higher productivity but not to renew the hole line.

- To renew parts of the production for the new products and combine those with new equipment.

- To be flexible to install production lines adapted to the demand of a local market and the cost of labour with different grade of automation but standardised key processes

- To install in different parts of the world production equipment of key processes which is standardised and of proven quality.

Reported by

Robert Bosch Espana Fabrica Treto S.A.
Apartado 79
39770 Laredo Cantabria
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