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Newton and Babcock International announce new Pulse line production process for military vehicles

04th June 2010 - 9:03 by the Shephard News Team

Production of protected patrol vehicles, under an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR), destined for frontline use by British troops in Afghanistan, has taken a significant step forward in terms of efficiency after the introduction of a new Production Management System which enhances the production line at the manufacturer's Devonport Dockyard site. The IT-based production management system has been developed, in conjunction with Babcock, by Newton, Europe's leading operational and financial improvement specialist.

Babcock, a major player in the engineering support services market, has announced that it has successfully completed a three month-long project to set up this production management system for controlling the assembly of military vehicles. The development of the production line, 3 years ago, enabled Babcock to control materials and labour flow during the production process and to optimise output and reduce costs while maintaining high quality standards. Newton's Pulse Production Management System is an additional tool, which enables Babcock's engineers to target more accurately the way they plan assembly of the vehicles using modern efficiency measures to reduce bottlenecks, track components and cut out time-consuming procedures. Babcock managers are using Pulse to monitor, in real-time, the status of the "flow" of vehicles along the production line to enable them to get the best out of the line and re-deploy personnel and resources to best effect.

For over a century, Babcock has been a name synonymous with ultra-reliable engineering excellence and best practice. Babcock selected Newton to help it develop and implement the pulse line as a result of the company's proven background in manufacturing performance improvement and best practices.

Babcock, whose customers include the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force, has been preparing itself for future build contracts of modern high value military vehicles. "We made a strategic decision to enhance the efficiency of our production line. We wanted to better support our customers by providing efficient, high quality and low cost assembly solutions," said Chris Dunn, Land Systems Director at Babcock. "The Pulse Production Management System has helped manage the variation of the build process, while consolidating the cost per job".

The production line, now controlled using the Pulse Production Management System moves parts through 12 production cells. Pulse collects real time data, providing visibility of the current status of the line. This allows the production team to proactively respond to any issues, as well as providing accurate planning and control of vehicles and materials.

"Newton's Pulse Production Management System was specifically adapted for Babcock's current and future build contracts, helping to control variation in cost, quality and the delivery of vehicles," said Kevin Jones, Director at Newton. "It enables them to reduce build times, eliminate re-work, improve materials management, alleviate quality deficiencies, reduce lost time and predict material flow."

"With this new pulse line process, we will see significant benefits and cost savings. We have already eliminated 250 hours per month of lost time on the line and we foresee a 15-20% reduction in labour cost per vehicle," said Roger Gillespie, Equipment Solutions Managing Director at Babcock. "We are all really impressed by this system and the results it can deliver."

Source: Newton Europe

 

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