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Modular concept: New norm in tyre plant

Modular concept: New norm in tyre plant

TA News Bureau

Cimcorp’s modular concept, which is the very heart of the Dream Factory, is becoming the new norm in tyre plant. ‘Dream Factory is our solution for tyre industry, but in a way you could say it is a state of mind. We want to help customers to make their dreams come true,’ says CEO Masatoshi Wakabayashi

Q. Computer control of the whole logistics solution in the tyre plant covers a number of activities and involves software as well as hardware operations. How did Cimcorp R&D take on this challenge?

People are always looking for competitive and efficient ways to improve themselves for a promising future. Our R&D is no exception to this. We, at Cimcorp, believe it’s important to stay competitive and to keep improving ourselves in order to be a reliable partner for our customers and to be an important part of our society.
Our professionals design the whole intra logistics system, software control and equipment hardware. Developing and manufacturing robots remains our key technology. However, the development of software for warehouse control systems (WCS) and manufacturing execution systems (MES) have taken a larger role than before because customers are looking for optimal solutions for their operations as a whole. We strive to improve our technical capabilities in all areas to better serve our customers.
Currently the main developments on our solutions for tire industry is the new platform for WCS, obviously they’re on top of the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as we are committed on developing our MES further.

Q.Automation is in itself a very competitive field. What are Cimcorp’s competitive advantages?

Understanding our customers’ businesses and operations is the key to being a good partner. Our 40 years of industry experiences, knowledge acquired through projects and our openness to explore new ideas make us experts in intralogistics and automation.
While Cimcorp is quite agile and can adapt fast to market changes, being part of Murata Machinery, Ltd. gives us the benefits of their R&D efforts and diversified revenue streams and risk profile. So we have the agility of smaller company and financial security of big corporation.
We are one-stop-shop, all the relevant information, knowhow, service and support are available from one phone number. That connected to our long-term experience and proven track-record in our field of automation makes us a reliable partner.

Q. Please elaborate on how Cimcorp solutions manage the logistic flow in a tyre plant.

Our philosophy is optimization – making more out of less. Our logistics flow management starts from the idea, that there is a minimum amount of machinery on the floor, and all the software, management of those machines and equipment is controlled by Cimcorp solution.
We must understand machinery as an asset. And the asset must be managed properly to maximize the profitability to the owner.
It is end-to-end solution. The entire material flow is controlled by the Cimcorp warehouse control system (WCS) that integrates individual system components into one comprehensive material handling solution. Cimcorp’s manufacturing execution system (MES) collects and traces production data, recipe management and reporting.

Q. How does your automatic material handling solution minimize tyre buffer stocks and streamline material flows in tyre factory?

Originally the control system was designed to run the material handling equipment, but we soon realized an (industry) wider need for a better control system in tyre factories, that could provide optimal control through the whole logistics processes from the raw material handling to the shipping dock. The system provides for lower stock levels, maximum available space, minimized buffer stock, precise tracking and full traceability for each individual tyre, resulting in high-quality tyres and better yield. Real-time inventory ensures that the size of buffer stores is minimized, when tyres are produced just-in-time.

Q.What are the market challenges you face? Does this vary from region to region?

Most of the old tyre plants are already automated.

There are also some new low cost – low quality competitors, which affects customers’ judgment and decision-making. But luckily we are in the position, where most of our customers are in business of producing high-quality tyres to meet their customers’ needs and expectations. They need reliable partners in achieving that.
We work in a fast-pace world, and although we aim to be fast, we also want to be a long-term partner and offer lifetime support.

Q.How much of a success has Cimcorp’s Dream Factory achieved?

Seven out of top ten tyre manufacturers are our customers, and majority of the newcomers turn to us – we see it as a success. Our modular concept, which is the very heart of the Dream Factory, is becoming the new norm in tyre plant. One way of defining success, and this is important to us, is that customers come back to us, when they have new projects coming. Dream Factory is our solution for tyre industry, but in a way you could say it is a state of mind. We want to help customers to make their dreams come true.

Q. How do you service the customer once your solution has been handed over? Do you have any operational training programme for them?

We are a manufacturer as well as a project house that delivers integrated systems. Our turnkey delivery includes the processes of designing, producing, testing, and completing on-site installation and commissioning. Experienced professionals for all processes work together as a ‘team’ and the process is continuously improved by insight received from the quality management system. Our post-sale service group and local partner network serves our customers for the rest of the system’s life.
With the vast majority of our tyre industry customers running facilities 24/7, we know that support has to be available at any time, all year round. Machinery or IT failures mean downtime and lost production that can simply never be recovered.
Our customers – in tyre industry and other sectors – can choose to outsource their maintenance to Cimcorp or provide it themselves in-house. We tailor the customers support and service packages to fit our customers’ need. Our service agreements can include preventive maintenance, spare parts supply and corrective repair if needed. We can provide system support on site if required or more often remotely – over the telephone, via e-mail or via virtual private network connection.
We have different solutions for different needs. Of course we have comprehensive training programme for operator as well as for maintenance personnel. At Cimcorp we have specified personnel for training our customers. We have in-house training for operators and maintenance of our customers and on the other end of the spectrum we offer full service packages, which allows our customers to focus on their core business – we always tailor our services to fit the need of our customers.

Q. What in your opinion will be the biggest challenge Cimcorp could face in the future?

There are many challenges facing tyre industry, that might affect Cimcorp, but if we look only to ourselves, the biggest challenge for us currently is recruiting. The need for our solution has increased in tyre industry, but also on our other sector robotic handling of fresh foods etc. We are growing and we need excellent, highly-educated and motivated employees to answer that need. That is one of reasons we are now expanding to India – to be closer to our customers, but also to have local Cimcorpers to support us in growth.

Q.How do you see Cimcorp’s entry in India making an impact on the domestic tyre industry?

For our customers it means faster and better service. It helps them in rising their competitiveness both in India and abroad.

Q.Do you think the rapidly developing Asian markets offer you the biggest growth opportunity compare to the already well-settled Western markets?

The tyre industry market is growing faster in Asia at the moment, but we have projects all over the world all the time. The opening of the new office in India is due to the fact that we believe Indian and Asian markets to grow.

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