Midea, the world’s largest producer of major compliances has worked with Visual Components, the developer of 3D simulation software for manufacturing to increase the capacity and flexibility of a high-end washing machine assembly line while reducing project costs by 15%, totalling approx. £645,000.
With the simulation platform in place, Midea has reduced its assembly line floor area by 10%, while increasing production capacity by 10%, with the manufacturing process then having sufficient capacity to produce 500,000 units per year. The system is also able to accommodate mixed flow production of more than 100 SKUs, an increase from 5-10 SKUs previously, with line balance exceeding 90%.
The team has achieved significant cost savings via more efficient routing and utilisation of personnel, across areas such as production, logistics, and quality control workers. The construction period of the line came down from 15 to 12 weeks. Product quality has also improved, reducing the reject ratio from 1,200 defects per million to 120.
The complex production and scheduling requirements accompanied with the burdensome process of creating CAD models and 3D layouts meant that the organisation needed to make use of smart manufacturing capabilities and provide a flexible production capacity. The team turned to Visual Components simulation software to design, optimise, and verify the process and feasibility of layout for the project.
Midea was also able to dynamically present the planned assembly line and its corresponding logistics layout to project stakeholders and Midea executives. The two major challenges that Midea faced in terms of detecting problems during the design phase and meeting stringent requirements and targets were easily surmounted via use of the software.
“As a comprehensive and professional simulation tool, Visual Components played a very important role in this project. Previously, we were using three different products to build 3D layouts and verify equipment, logistics, and production capacity,” said Kong Fanshi, Simulation Engineer at Midea Group. “Using Visual Components, we were able to achieve lower investment and labour costs, as well as significant efficiency improvements.”
“The tangible results in terms of efficiency and significant cost savings witnessed by Midea is a testament to the impact that Visual Components’ simulation software can make in the manufacturing process. Following a successful collaboration, Midea is exploring ways to utilise the software in other areas of the business, and we look forward to working with the team closely as the business takes its next steps,” said Mikko Urho, CEO at Visual Components.
Following a successful project, Midea plans to use the simulation software more extensively in the design and commissioning of its production systems, while customising the platform to add tailored plug-ins and add-ons. Plans for the creation of a digital twin are also on the horizon to collect machine, logistics, and manufacturing data from the factory floor and visualize it in Visual Components layouts.