Supplying advanced suspension systems to an Oxford-based major car manufacturer, Delphi Automotive Systems ensures the right components are supplied to the assembly line, in the right sequence, as they are needed.
As a result of lean manufacturing initiatives designed to reduce assembly costs, automotive manufacturers require that suppliers provide just-in-time deliveries of pre-assembled systems directly to their production lines. Delphi Automotive Systems delivers small, multiple batches of suspension systems, as they are required. This means the automotive manufacturer can minimise inventory levels and improve operational efficiency. What is more, Delphi must deliver their suspension systems in the correct assembly sequence, as each new vehicle is built to customer order, with its own unique specifications, rather than built-to-stock. In fact, out of every 1,000,000 cars that roll off the production line, only 10 will be identical.
To successfully meet the challenge of supplying in assembly line sequence, the correct suspension module, for each corner of more than 5,200 vehicles per week, Delphi designed an innovative picking process. Working in partnership with TPL Labels Ltd, a specialist provider of custom labels, auto-identification and data capture solutions, Delphi reorganised its shop floor into specific lanes designated by the final destination of the suspension module on the vehicle: front-left, front-right, rear-left, rear-right.
Connected electronically to the automotive manufacturers assembly line management system, Delphis Luton plant prepares batch deliveries using a combination of a truck-mounted Datalogic Rhino-Net rugged mobile computer, DS4600A fixed position laser barcode scanner, and Datalogic Powerscan M8300 (formerly Dragon Mobile) industrial hand-held barcode reader.
Mounted on an electric pallet truck, Delphi and TPL devised a system whereby the operator moves along the picking lane and is instructed as to which suspension module is required by the Datalogic Rhino-Net mobile computer. Having picked the suspension module, the operator places it on a vertical arm where its identifying barcode is automatically scanned by a DS4600A.
Once the suspension module is identified as the correct part, it is placed in a customised pigeon hole storage system on the truck. Each compartment of the storage system is individually numbered and assigned a corresponding barcode. Having placed the suspension module in a storage compartment, the operator scans the barcode to positively identify that the right unit has been picked and placed in the correct compartment prior to shipping.
Delphi chose the Datalogic Powerscan M8300 (formerly Dragon Mobile) for a combination of reasons, including its extremely rugged construction (IP65 rating and 2m drop resistance), ergonomic design, 3GL good read feedback system, and superior reading performance. Using Datalogics proprietary STAR System narrow band RF (433MHz or 910MHz), the Powerscan M8300 (formerly Dragon Mobile) offers reliable, secure data transfer without Wi-Fi interference, or the constraints and hazards of a tethered device.
Delphi assembles and delivers the suspension modules to the automotive manufacturer ready to be sequentially unloaded from the container for attachment directly onto the vehicles as they move down the assembly line. This supply-in-line sequence process enables the company to meet its customers exacting needs through the coordination of its own manufacturing processes and that of its customer.
For the automotive manufacturer Delphis supply-in-line sequence process means greatly reduced line-side storage, simpler, more efficient manufacturing logistics, increased production flexibility and lower costs.
About Delphi Corporation
Delphi is a leading global supplier of mobile electronics and transportation systems, including powertrain, safety, steering, thermal, and controls & security systems, electrical/electronic architecture, and in-car entertainment technologies. Engineered to meet and exceed the rigorous standards of the automotive industry, Delphi technology is also found in computing, communications, consumer electronics, energy and medical applications. Headquartered in Troy, Mich., Delphi has approximately 171,000 employees and operates 159 wholly owned manufacturing sites in 36 countries with sales of $26.4 billion in 2006.
Established in 1969, TPL specialises in the supply of a wide range of printed labels from plain to full colour process, in a variety of materials and finishes, as well as thermal ribbons, printers, scanners and label software. TPL works closely with its customers to provide labelling solutions to a diverse range of markets, from automotive, medical and pharmaceutical to cosmetics, food and drink, electronics and DIY.
About Datalogic Scanning
Datalogic Scanning, Inc., part of the Datalogic Group, is the recognized #1 worldwide leader in high-performance fixed position retail point-of-sale scanners and the #2 global market leader with the most complete line of general purpose and rugged handheld scanners in the industry. Offering a broad array of technology, products, and services in the retail automation and automated data-capture market, Datalogic Scanning supports multiple industries throughout the retail supply chain and distribution channel as well as manufacturing, government, healthcare, banking and finance sectors.
With a presence in over 120 countries, the headquarters, primary development, marketing, and manufacturing facilities for Datalogic Scanning, Inc. are located in Eugene, Oregon, while sales and service offices are located throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.