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Optimas makes tracks at new Hitachi Rail manufacturing facility

28/11/2017 11:04:27
 
 
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ImagesClick Image for 300dpi jpg fileOptimas makes tracks at new Hitachi Rail manufacturing facilityOptimas makes tracks at new Hitachi Rail manufacturing facilityOptimas makes tracks at new Hitachi Rail manufacturing facility

Hitachi Rail Europe has recently worked with premium component supplier and logistics expert, Optimas, in order to help simplify component and supply chain requirements at its UK based Newton Aycliffe train manufacturing facility. The new UK factory is the first of its kind outside of Japan, and is aimed squarely at supporting the European market, an effort that has been aided by Optimas expertise.

The new Hitachi facility covers 44,000m², with the site also housing a 1.1km test track. Costing £82 million, the site has the production capacity to manufacture 35 vehicles every month. These can include high-speed trains, commuter trains and metro trains – which will see use in the UK and across Europe.

Synergizing the component and logistical demands of a facility designed to manufacture high performance trains is not a simple task. Peter Mould, Application Engineer at Optimas explains: “We were able to secure the contract initially as we could offer fasteners at competitive prices. We then worked closely with the Hitachi Rail team to rationalize the number of duplicated parts and simplify the numbering system. We liaised with Hitachi Rail engineers early on, so we could define a clear plan of action, removing any blueprint or component duplicates and selecting preferred vendors.”

A push towards standardization also enabled a reduced bill of materials, as less unique components were required.

“By standardizing component choice for Hitachi Rail we were able to offer simplified supplier management,” Peter continues, “but that was not the only benefit of local knowledge. Working with Hitachi design engineers we were able to enact EU component standards across the facility instead of Japanese equivalents, which simplified logistical demands and ensured that the fasteners were specialized for applications in the UK.”

With a clear component policy defined in conjunction with Hitachi Rail, Optimas turned its attention to increasing the efficiency of transporting fasteners from storage to the state-of-the-art production line. Optimas supported the Hitachi Rail team to develop a kanban system on-site, a lean manufacturing inventory control framework. The system aims to increase the efficiency of production processes, by ensuring an optimum number of parts are available on the line at any one time.

However, it is not a fastener policy that was meant to stand still, Peter concludes: “Our dedicated Optimas team continues to work closely with Hitachi Rail to constantly review parts and the supply chain. We update the policy at the start of every new project, meaning that we keep the bill of materials in review for every new model, so we can maximize overall cost effectiveness and efficiency. By being dynamic, we can move on the same path of expansion as Hitachi Rail as it grows in the European market.”

Subsequently, Optimas has been awarded additional parts by Hitachi Rail, which are currently being implemented as part of the kanban system. The clear implementation path defined by both businesses has meant expanding the fastener framework and ensuring customer success.

Caption 1: The UK based Newton Aycliffe facility is the first of its kind outside of Japan.

Caption 2: Optimas turned its attention to increasing the efficiency of transporting fasteners from storage to the state-of-the-art production line.

Caption 3: A push towards standardization also enabled a reduced bill of materials, as less unique components were required.

About Optimas Solutions

Optimas is a global distributor of fasteners and c-class products. Optimas at its core is a provider of integrated supply chain solutions and engineering support focused on delivering highly engineered fasteners to world-class customers around the world. Optimas has a diverse, global team of approximately 1,600 individuals, over 60 distribution centers, 9 quality labs and 2 manufacturing locations to support the complexities of our customers’ industries, enabling them to achieve their goals and be successful.

The image(s) distributed with this press release may only be used to accompany this copy, and are subject to copyright. Please contact DMA Europa if you wish to license the image for further use.

Editor Contact

DMA Europa Ltd. : Anne-Marie Howe
Tel: +44 (0)1562 751436 Fax: +44 (0)1562 748315
Web: www.dmaeuropa.com
Email: anne-marie@dmaeuropa.com

Company Contact

Optimas Solutions : Daniel Ulbert
Tel: 001 224-521-4285 Fax:
Web: global.optimas.com
Email: info@optimas.com

 
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