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A hands-on approach to operational excellence

While engineering today is still often about delivering and operating heavy-duty machinery and plants, it is also about providing smarter solutions for improving customers’ operations and adding value throughout the production and supply chain. As part of its offering addressing these challenges, SabriScan is increasingly leveraging its training expertise.

As in virtually every sector of the economy today, engineering companies are being called on to reduce their customers’ timeto- market, streamline their production flows, and develop more flexible and responsive supply chains. Today’s tight product life-cycles do not wait for anyone, however big or small you are.

Companies are also being required to work with more advanced materials that are often more difficult to machine than conventional ones, stay ahead of the technology curve by using the latest 3D/CAD/CAM systems, and offer much more in the way of mass customisation.

As a service company with an extensive track record in providing high-quality solutions for machine, metal, and plastics manufacturers, SabriScan provides a comprehensive offering – ranging from components to complete tooling solutions, design, supply chain management, and training – to help companies respond to these challenges.

The SabriScan methodĀ®

SabriScan serves customers across a wide range of manufacturing. Photo: Peter Herring
Operational excellence and partnerships are two of SabriScan’s key watchwords and underpin what the company describes as the SabriScan MethodĀ®.

Together with SabriScan EngineeringĀ®, this focuses on giving customers access to competitive capacity, the best technology, new types of tool and mould manufacturing, and efficient production performance – while eliminating inefficient and unnecessary work and the delays this inevitably causes, and minimising material and procurement costs.

SabriScan has been very active in pioneering new technologies, such as advanced hard machining that can deliver very high standards of dimensional accuracy and surface quality and eliminate the need for slow and expensive grinding and polishing in many applications. SabriScan has also reinvented conventional thinking in gear manufacturing. Thanks to the new 3D-based manufacturing technology that it has pioneered, spiral bevel gears and pinion shanks can now be mass-produced without the need for special on-site expertise or dedicated machinery. SabriScan

maintains its own advanced, inhouse production capacity, which it uses to provide flexible OEM manufacturing for small runs and to test out new solutions that it is developing before deploying them on a larger scale with contract manufacturers elsewhere in Finland and internationally, and for training purposes.

Multiple success stories

One of the biggest advantage that a partnership with SabriScan can offer is faster manufacturing, at least 50% faster than traditional systems and up to 70-80% faster in some cases – as happened recently when SabriScan worked with a technology provider to radically improve the way one of its customers machined its engine blocks, for example.

Training is set to be an increasingly important part of SabriScan’s overall offering. Photo: Peter Herring
In another recent success story, SabriScan was able to leverage its manufacturing and supply chain experience to help a major manufacturer of welding equipment make use of new-generation injection moulds for the plastic components in its new portable welding units. SabriScan coordinated the entire manufacturing process on behalf of the customer and ensured that the production ramp-up went to plan; SabriScan also has on-going responsibility for the life-cycle services of the parts in question.

Successes like these are achieved by a mix of ‘system-level improvements’, beginning with things like designing in better manufacturability and continuing through optimised process flows and supply chains. The latter can include outsourcing based on advanced unmanned production cells that can mass-produce components to very tight specifications. This approach offers excellent flexibility, as it can make it much faster and much easier to increase production capacity, as and where needed, compared to more conventional solutions.

Training is very much part of the offering

SabriScan’s role as a hands-on consultant that knows manufacturing from the inside out is now being extended with a greater focus on management processes, such as planning and training, because of the critical role they play in developing overall operational excellence.

A number of training partnerships have been established in Finland and discussions are well-advanced with organisations around the world in countries such as Chile, China, Singapore, and the UAE.

Given the major changes affecting the metal and engineering industries and the range of new skills, together with multiskilling, that both employees and companies need today – nationally and internationally – training is set to become increasingly important to the success of SabriScan’s customers, and to SabriScan itself.

SabriScan maintains its own advanced, in-house production capacity, which it uses to provide flexible OEM manufacturing for small runs and to test out new solutions that it is working on. Photo: Peter Herring
> Jari Kokkonen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)