Voortmann Steel Machinery: Full process overview

Process overview = more efficient production

Voortman Steel Machinery, a ROB-EX user, located in Rijssen, in the Netherlands designs, develops and produces machines and machinery for the steel and sheet metal processing industries.

Smart scheduling with ROB-EX Scheduler

“We now have a much better overview of our processes, and this has improved our scheduling,” says Gijs Karsten, Production Coordinator at Voortman.

Voortman Steel Machinery produces machines for manufacturers all over the world. “We sell complete solutions. We develop, produce and install modified machines for our customers. We also supply the control software ourselves,” Gijs explains, and continues: “A number of years ago, we started looking into the market for scheduling tools. At that time, we carried out our scheduling in MS Project. Each department had its own schedule – and its own priorities. Everything was fragmented and this affected our scheduling negatively.

-When we decided to get a new scheduling tool, we first identified the features that we wanted it to have. We looked for a program that the user was able to adjust and change, and that provided management with reliable information, upon which sound decisions could be made. We are an international company, and this meant that the program had to be in English. Reliable and prompt support was also among our requirements.

– Four software suppliers met all our criteria, and out of these two were selected and invited to present their products. ROB-EX A/S immediately drew our full attention. They didn’t just give us a standard all-purposes presentation. They really listened and processed our input and wishes. They were very forthcoming and the story they told us seemed honest and genuine. All of these factors added up and they immediately gained our full trust,” Gijs recounts.

Smart scheduling

Gijs continues: “Today ROB-EX has been implemented in all departments, including project development, planning, purchasing, production, stock and transport – and our processes run smoothly.

– ROB-EX is very user-friendly. Our staff uses the ROB-EX Shop Floor module. Their individual assignments are viewable on a monitor. The day’s assignments are organised using colour coding, i.e. Black: the job is done; blue: the job is pending and green: I have started this job. This is about as clear and easy to use as it gets.”

Improved customer satisfaction

Gijs concludes: “Our scheduling is a lot better and smarter. We are better at managing production, e.g. handling bottlenecks or acting when material is lacking. If we receive a rush order, we are able to see whether we have excess capacity in the individual departments, or whether we are able to push other production orders without risking delays in delivery. ROB-EX also has a positive impact on our purchasing, by enabling us to optimise the utilisation of our storage facilities. Less products and materials on stock equals reduced costs. All in all, ROB-EX has generated very positive results: our ratio of on-time deliveries has increased very significantly. The planning tools in ROB-EX help us optimise utilisation of manpower and materials, and also enable us to shorten our delivery times, …and by the way, all of the improvements that have been generated by our implementation of ROB-EX are also greatly appreciated by our customers.”