Outsourcing maintenance opens up plant availability for Tier 1 auto supplier

The decision for Griffin, Ga.-based Nacom Corp., an electronic assembly supplier to automotive OEMs, to relocate to Mexico wasn't an easy one. The most pressing priority leading up to the move was building sufficient stock inventory to meet customers' requirements during the transition—even though the plant was closing.

05/01/2008


The decision for Griffin, Ga.-based Nacom Corp. , an electronic assembly supplier to automotive OEMs, to relocate to Mexico wasn't an easy one. The most pressing priority leading up to the move was building sufficient stock inventory to meet customers' requirements during the transition—even though the plant was closing.

“We supply the Big Three and other automakers like Toyota and Nissan, and we knew we had to build several months of bank stock before moving the facility so it wouldn't affect our customers' JIT production, says Tom Clark, Nacom's director of operations and engineering. “We needed to increase production to meet that goal, which [puts more] emphasis on preventive maintenance and machine uptime. At the same time, we were prepared for 50 percent to 60 percent of our maintenance associates to leave the company because they knew the plant was closing.”

That's why Nacom decided to outsource maintenance to Advanced Technology Services (ATS) , which supplies managed production equipment maintenance, industrial parts repair, and IT solutions.

ATS, already known for its staff of 2,000 people, is making a name for itself for the same reasons companies in the IT outsourcing business succeed, says Houghton Leroy, research director for enterprise asset management with Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group . Namely, there's growing demand for such services.

“First, the skilled maintenance labor pool is rapidly shrinking as more employees retire,” says Leroy. “Second, the complexity of assets has changed, and it costs even more to maintain them. Finally, the cost of spare parts is rising, and many companies don't want the cost of carrying spare parts anyway. These are all compelling reasons to outsource maintenance to a company like ATS.”

In the case of Nacom, the decision to outsource maintenance proved to be sound.

“We are a lean company, so we don't carry buffer inventory. That means we need to focus on production and let ATS do what they do best: maintenance to ensure production uptime,” Clark says. “ROI has been significant in a short time. We've seen a 45-percent improvement in plant availability, and a 30-percent reduction in maintenance overtime.” Clark adds that ATS took over Nacom's maintenance staff, so no jobs were actually lost.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me