Our Customer is one of the world’s largest automotive fuel tank manufacturers, with factories across the USA, Europe and Asia.

The company were facing a shortage in skilled maintenance staff, which was causing a series of issues impacting line efficiency.

As well as this, hiring new specialist staff did not guarantee long-term security. If team members left again, this would mean the process would need to be repeated, leaving the line open to risk once more.

With this in mind, the customer approached Vacuum Engineering Services for support. The company had heard about our service offer of unlimited technical support by phone and email. In addition to this 24-hour helpline, we could also provide;

  • A guarantee on spare parts replaced during service activities
  • Monthly visits on-site to perform preventative & predictive maintenance routines
  • An on-site engineer in case of machine breakdown
  • Access to local stock of spare parts

To begin with, our solution involved an on-site assessment, inclusive of a health check of the machines. This looked into several areas such as;

  • The age of the machines
  • Mechanical conditions
  • Electrical conditions
  • Machine performance
  • Plant maintenance routines

Once all areas had been sufficiently assessed, we were then able to create a tailored service policy plan for our Customer, based on the status of each machine.

We proposed an integral service policy for all 4 machines, with monthly visits that would include a major overhaul, and a 6-monthly immediate overhaul – inclusive of all spare parts.

As the Customer did not have access to spare pumps for helium leak testing, we also offered a pump exchange program. This meant that while our engineers were servicing the pumps, we could provide a replacement that could be used during maintenance, reducing machine downtime and increasing the Overall Equipment Effectiveness [OEE].

Additionally, troubleshooting training was also included in our offer, so that new technicians could easily fix the most common problems.

To further support our Customer, we were able to spread the total cost of this service policy over 12 monthly payments, which was a big help for the finance team in cash flow planification.

The overall implementation took place over a period of 12 months. During this time, we were also able to identify further opportunities for improvement within processes. For example, an operator was frequently experiencing difficulty verifying one of the machines – this was due to the test piece disintegrating. To help overcome this, we manufactured a support nest for the test piece, in turn reducing load and unload time by 4 seconds.

As a result of the new service policy from VES, our Customer has since achieved:

  • 77% reduction in MTTR
  • 1600% increase in MTBF [mean time between failures]
  • 17% increase in line efficiency
  • ROI achieved in just 6 months
  • Over $29,583 cost savings per hour