Interstuhl is investing
New efficient production at Interstuhl: The office seating manufacturer located in Tieringen invests in customer-oriented and leaner production. After one year of planning and testing, Interstuhl has put in operation a production line built according to the latest considerations of value-stream-oriented manufacturing. Its core is a freely programmable automatic guided vehicle system that Interstuhl has installed together with BeeWaTec located in Pfullingen. It serves as workbench and drives flexibly to the workers, depending on which part shall be mounted to the seating furniture.
Therewith the standard delivery time from 2 up to five weeks is reduced to a maximum delivery time of 72 hours. With this system Interstuhl is able to manufacture the variants demanded by the customer in even better quality – and all without stock of finished goods.
In 2016, the production building, which was built in 1976, was completely cleared out and then completely renovated. 13 automatic guided vehicles drive around there and stop at fixed stations where they are filled with materials at always the same place. The concept is designed like a flow production but in a flexible way. With the new sophisticatedly control system the trolleys know where to stop for further installation steps. The finished chair is carried to the shipping department fully automatically and is delivered to the customer by a furniture shipping company. Manufacture takes place on an order-related basis only, just in time and just in sequence. In comparison with the previous manufacturing system approximately 30 % manufacturing time can be saved.
At least just as important is the shortened processing time with the simultaneous option of manufacturing customer-specific solutions with the new production line thanks to the variable manufacturing layout and the flexible Transport trolleys.
Long walking ways and cost-intensive temporary storage in a high rack are avoided. At the new concept the workplace with the chair moves to the prefabricated material and to the workers there.
At the same time Interstuhl increases the attractiveness of the working places as the employees can now organize theirselves in the production team. The team members decide who is working at which station – everybody can work at any station. Simultaneously the ergonomics of the working places has considerably improved. “We are proud of our employees who have developed and implemented this concept completely on their own. Only thanks to the effort and the commitment of the employees it was possible that we are further on able to produce highly efficient and profitably at the Tieringen site and to ensure the longterm viability of the location” says Joachim Link, managing partner at Interstuhl.