Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Factory modules

Behr Lorraine S.A.R.L. is a 100% daughter of the Behr GmbH & Co. and integrated in the Behr-Group as a Profit Centre. Behr Lorraine produces predominant Flat-tube Condensers for the automotive sector.

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.

With the MPA Project results, BEHR clearly attend to increase the flexibility of its production machines towards the product (to be able to build different products on the same types of machines) and toward the production volume (according to the future customer orders). All the implementations should permanently take care that the gain of space on the production floor is a very important feature. the special areas should be reduced (in number and space) and split with different production lines in order to get general use for those areas (for example a central rework area for the factory instead of one area for each production line).

This best practice implementation layout will be used in the future to copy the Condenser production in Europe and world-wide.

BEHR wants the MPA project to increase the flexibility towards the product variants and towards the “production technology and environment rules” changes; using standardised modules with standardised factory controls.

But BEHR is also looking for some kind of optimisation in its goods logistic and in its production layout. To gain some competitiveness and to be faster than the competitors; BEHR wants also to reduce the time dedicated to the “new plants” planning process.

For BEHR, the efforts were concentrated on the production resources on two levels: the factory level and the production line level.

The different Change Drivers identified for BEHR - that is to say the main reasons, why the Production Means have to be changed or modified - are external as well as internal to the BEHR society. We have identified three fields for each category that influence the usual working within a BEHR plant. Concerning the external Change Drivers, the BEHR production system is influenced by “Science and Technology”, “Society and Politics” and by the “Market Requirements”. Concerning the internal Change Drivers, the BEHR production system is influenced by the “Company Objectives”; the “Product Program” and by the “Product” itself.

According to the new BEHR Spain plant project planning, the different Cost Drivers were identified and hierarchised.

The different headings used in the BEHR project planning could be considered more as budgetary headings and not really as planning phases. In fact, 93 % of the project’s total costs were assigned to invest. The invests were mainly the technical equipment costs and the building costs. The invest for project planning was only the third cost source. To decrease efficiently the project costs, you should mainly act on these 2 first budgetary headings. Only 7 % of the project’s total costs were dedicated to the planning costs (personal costs + means costs). The most expensive headings were the “Plant Organisation Definition” and the “Production Element Definition”.

A method to design Modular Plant Architecture was developed. Then the different Production Elements at BEHR were identified.

Each Production Element was specified in a “Factory Boxes” catalogue. A short description; some size parameters and the different influent Change Drivers of each Production Element were included in each catalogue page. The Production Elements were also defined and the production system was described as an object-oriented hierarchical model. Then the definition of all the possible Production Modules were listed and detailed in a Production Module Catalogue.

Afterwards, the Reference Architecture was determined. The deliverable for this task was a Modular Architecture and a Factory Design Process for Modular Architecture. The Modules types and their combinations were identified. The Modules integration and delimitation on the line level were defined. The requirements on necessary Modules on the factory level were identified. The Production Elements were linked to all the Design Process steps in a matrix. The Design Process was represented as object-oriented model.

Reported by

BEHR Lorraine
57100 Hambach
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