How Soudronic digitized, simplified and seamlessly integrated inspection processes in just a few weeks
Headquartered in Switzerland, Soudronic is a leading global manufacturer of production equipment for metal packaging and employs over 600 people worldwide. The company offers its discerning customers from more than 120 countries a comprehensive range of products from individual components to complete production systems and stands for highest quality, innovative strength and user-friendliness.
When Cyril Maurer took over the Test Bench department in 2016, he quickly began looking for a solution to seamlessly digitally map the inspection documentation of a machine throughout the entire production process. Inspection processes were supposed to become more efficient by eliminating paper, and process reliability was supposed to increase through customized inspection instructions. Cyril Maurer tested many different solutions such as InfoPath, PDF forms or MS Access. However, no option met the requirements.
I tried a lot and asked other companies. I can’t be the only one with this problem, was my thought. But production companies still very often work with paper.
Head of Testbench and Production, Soudronic
Elaborate test documentation and risks for process reliability
Due to the high quality requirements, the Soudronic team developed a comprehensive inspection process. First, a large number of machine-specific inspection documents were compiled in production planning – one file folder per machine. The folder then traveled with the machine through the various production departments until the documentation was filed and archived after the inspection was completed. With around 100 machines or components per year that have to meet the highest requirements for safety and reliability, this means a lot of documentation. The effort required to compile the inspection documentation, make changes to inspection instructions and manually file the completed documents in archives and in the DMS alone amounted to over 1,600 hours per year.
The lack of transparency regarding the inspection progress was another challenge: With a production time of several months, different employees were working on the same machine. With each handover, they first had to get an overview of which inspection steps had already been completed. Before the inspection folder finally made its way to the next department, the department managers validated the complete documentation to ensure that every inspection step had been carried out.
In addition to high documentation costs and the time-consuming transfer of information between the six departments involved, the inspection documentation also harbored certain risks for process reliability. Since Soudronic offers different variants of machines and components, employees used so-called maximum lists for a variant-specific quality inspection. The inspecting employees themselves had to know which of the inspection steps were relevant for the respective machine. Despite the enormous wealth of experience of Soudronic employees, a digital solution that was sustainable from a demographic point of view was essential for Cyril Maurer and his team.
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Easy implementation and integration of cioplenu
The software has been in use at Soudronic since the beginning of 2020 and is used internationally and in multiple languages. In order to optimize the inspection process, which was characterized by paper printouts and system breaks, the integration with ERP and DMS followed promptly after the initial introduction. These connections enabled orders from the ERP to be automatically linked to the detailed inspection processes in cioplenu, and quality records created in cioplenu can be automatically stored in the DMS.
Thanks to the modular process steps in cioplenu, there is now a central point of process truth, which also drastically reduces adjustment efforts in the inspection documentation in the long term.
As a consequence, Soudronic now works with a fully integrated, partially automated and scalable solution.
During the introduction, the mechanical engineering company started with a very focused approach in order to roll out the solution across the group in the long term. While the initial focus was on mapping inspection instructions in combination with inspection records, documents such as assembly instructions and other descriptions and forms have now also found their way into the software.
The introduction and integration of cioplenu has raised our inspection process to a new level. Quality inspectors can concentrate on the actual inspection and activities that add little value have been automated.
Head of Testbench and Production, Soudronic
Less effort – more transparency and process reliability
Soudronic now has an end-to-end integrated solution for inspection processes from providing documentation to interdepartmental inspection operations to filing and tracking quality information.
By reducing documentation efforts, Soudronic saves over 170,000 CHF annually in just one area: The compilation of documentation now runs digitally and efficiently per order – the effort required for this dropped by 95%. Automatic report generation and seamless data transfer to the DMS completely eliminated filing and archiving efforts. Thanks to one point of truth, customization efforts were also reduced to a minimum. A change in a process step that is used multiple times is only made once, and affected documents are automatically adjusted.
In addition to avoiding effort, the transparency and security of the inspection processes increased enormously. When work starts in the departments, the inspection can now be continued directly, as the next inspection step is immediately visible. Thanks to the intuitive documentation, employees are guided through the inspection process by various interactions. The reports, which can be found quickly via the search function, also enable rapid processing and follow-up in the event of any complaints.
By introducing cioplenu, Soudronic achieved its goal of providing its employees with a user-friendly solution that eliminates non-value-adding activities and allows them to focus on the essentials.
The advantages at a glance
Simply start, benefit immediately
You too can work with digital inspection protocols. In an initial kick-off meeting, we jointly develop a target image for your company and plan the next steps. As soon as you have filled out the contact form, we will contact you with a proposed appointment.
During this meeting, we will present the software and the functionalities that are particularly relevant for you by means of an individual live demo.
Afterwards you have the possibility to get a test access or to go directly into productive use. It is important to us to provide you with an easy start as the basis for a long-term partnership.