The company ELECTROSTAR GmbH is based in Reichenbach/Fils, Baden-Württemberg. With its brand starmix, the business focuses on the production of efficient vacuum cleaners for cleansing in the industrial, trading, hotel and crafts industry. As inventor and manufacturer of hot-air hand dryers, the firm is one of the major producers worldwide in this sector. ELECTROSTAR GmbH is part of the ALGO Company Group.
ELECTROSTAR realized that the central idea of lean management represents a crucial factor for success and productivity in the company. Since 2011, manufacturing processes are continually optimized in order to create a flexible and economic work environment.
Producing on single workplaces made the company stretch its limits concerning the higher expectations towards economic efficiency and delivery times. One of the major challenges regarding the workplaces were mostly the reverse flow of material, necessary double handling, long time searching, ergonomically insufficient orientation of workplaces and a high logistic effort for the employees.
The problems mentioned above negatively affected the delivery capability despite the constantly rising number of items. The resulting buffer storage led to high stocks between the single workplaces.
ELECTROSTAR aspired to establish new assembly and storage concepts, as there was considerable optimization potential also concerning the warehouse structure.
- Searching times concerning storage places
- Unclear ordering of the storage spaces
- Suboptimal use of space
- Disoriented flow of material
- Significant lift truck traffic
As a consequence, ELECTROSTAR focused on process optimization in the assembly sector. The aim was to redesign the assembly workplaces, assembly lines and the whole material logistics.
Together with BeeWaTec an appropriate concept for production and logistics processes was developed. Major points were the optimal flow of products and the ergonomic provision of material.
The flexible concept of the modular system, appearing everywhere in the product, convinced ELECTROSTAR to choose BeeWaTec´s solutions over those of the competitors.
In addition to that, BeeWaTec has got its own construction department as well as its own internal technical sales team developing customized solutions based on the clients´ needs and accompanying them during the realization.
“The unlimited freedom of design of BeeWaTec´s modular system especially impressed me – compared to the stiff constructions of other suppliers. Also the technical solutions and the partner-like cooperation convinced me right from the start,” emphasizes Mr. Wachter (production planner and lean coordinator).
In a short amount of time, a free space in the production area was created, and the first assembly line AS-GS-HS was realized. Along with this first line, a central assembly standard was introduced which was individually adjusted in the following projects.
After only one week of installation, assembly was able to restart with a newly oriented cyclic production.
The first results are impressive: ELECTROSTAR reached an increase in productivity of +18% and a reduction in space of -33%. Also the employees´ unnecessary accumulation of material is now a thing of the past. These results clearly demonstrate what a consequent lean realization in a company can accomplish after a short time.
Electrostar became lean
Motivated by the first success, in 2012-2015 three other assembly lines as well as several workplaces were designed and optimized together with BeeWaTec.
Due to the optimized work environment, the employees can now focus on the assembly itself, since the redesigned workplaces significantly reduced the necessary logistic effort.
An important factor for the success of the lean concept was the immediate involvement of the colleagues: like this the managers and the workers developed a common lean understanding. “The employees´ idea of lean management works – they recognize the benefit of lean production. They saw and experienced that everything can work in a structured way, and that it means less stress,” says Mr. Wachter.