Plan­ning secu­rity in production

Obso­les­cence man­age­ment enables Cus­tomer Ser­vice to let cus­tomers know ahead of time when a machine com­po­nent will be dis­con­tinued. This allows to plan with cer­tainty and saves money.

The pack­aging machine has stopp­ed unex­pect­edly. A cylinder has broken. The pro­duc­tion engi­neer calls the Cus­tomer Ser­vice at Harro Höfliger to order the required spare part. But the employee there has bad news: The cylinder no longer exists and the avail­able suc­cessor is a few mil­lime­ters longer. In order to use it, machine sec­tions have to be con­verted. This is expen­sive – and time consuming.

Felix Haberl, Product Man­ager in the Cus­tomer Ser­vice depart­ment, is respon­sible for obsolen­scence man­age­ment which he con­siders a very impor­tant tool to pre­vent, for example, unplanned machine downtimes.

Harro Höfliger wants to pro­tect cus­tomers from such sce­narios with a new ser­vice: The obso­les­cence man­age­ment for com­po­nents that will be dis­con­tinued. ­Felix Haberl, Product Man­ager Cus­tomer Ser­vice, explains how it works: “Upon cus­tomer request, we will check the entire parts list of a machine for dis­con­tinued parts. For each com­po­nent that is no longer pro­duced, our engi­neers will search for suc­cessor prod­ucts. The results are clas­si­fied and cat­e­go­rized accord­ingly in a table. A basic dis­tinc­tion is made as to whether the parts are still avail­able or can be replaced by a one-to-one suc­cessor, or whether minor adjust­ments or even com­plete con­ver­sions are required.”

Taking action

The big advan­tage: Thanks to this ser­vice, cus­tomers can plan and deter­mine the required mea­sures at an early stage. This also became evi­dent in a pilot project with a phar­ma­ceu­tical com­pany, where Harro Höfliger com­piled overview lists for two large lines and then jointly devel­oped the fol­lowing strategy: It made sense to stock­pile indi­vidual com­po­nents that were still avail­able as spare parts.

The Cus­tomer Ser­vice team cre­ates a sys­tem­atic overview of the avail­ability of spare parts.

Since other sec­tions of one machine needed to be opti­mized any­way, a planned con­ver­sion with the new product ver­sions was the obvious solu­tion. Felix Haberl sum­ma­rizes: “This ser­vice means an enor­mous added value for every cus­tomer. With this infor­ma­tion cus­tomers can be proac­tive and avoid machine downtimes.”

Down­load this article as PDF file