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Production efficiency

Production efficiency refers to how manufacturer can maximize the level of outputs in the most efficient way. Streamlining productions can mean changing the design of the product or make changes in the manufacturing process, which could involve i.e., automation.
By upgrading products to high strength steel could make it possible to minimize the amount of material such as stiffeners, thickness, increasing consideration of welding placement, cuts, the number of tool changes in a CNC milling machine and the place of joints, the production speed can be increased, and the cost can be reduced.
Changing the products can be considered costly, but by taking in advance what added value that can create over time, the benefit can be considered which can create an economic gain. It is important to include the entire supply chain when making changes, to minimize the risk of sub optimization, which can lead to economic loss for the company.

Design for efficiency

When developing the products, the manufacturing process should be considered at the same time, all to ensure an efficient production time with optimized lead time. The focus of an efficient production should not primarily be on economics, instead finding a good balance between costs and maximizing resources, to maintain a good quality of the products. Also, if the service life of the product can be increase, the prize of the product can be higher without impairing the satisfaction for the customer and it would also be sustainable.

Environmental factors

By upgrading to high-strength steel, the amount of material can be reduced, as described earlier. The service life of the product can also increase which means less use of material over time. Furthermore, this will result in less CO2 emissions over time. Finally, by making i.e., trucks or trailers lighter, a larger quantity can be loaded, which over time can mean a smaller proportion of trucks on the roads. Alternatively, less fuel consumption for a lighter truck, which means less emissions into society.

How to calculate production efficiency

The example below illustrates how an upgrade of a trailer body could look like regarding production efficiency. The factors that are compared are the number of parts, which later needs to be assembled. The average product thicknesses enable to calculate the weight difference. The cutting and welding lengths are important to represent production time and costs. Finally, the proportion of bends as well as how long each bend should be needs to be compared.
Using these inputs, time and costs for each product can be compared. The higher material cost of the high-strength material can be motivated by enabling lower manufacturing time and costs.

High strength steel and production efficiency

The information in this report is only applicable to SSAB’s products and should not be applied to any other products than original SSAB products. 

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