MTM – Work design productive and safe

Mercedes Benz uses MTM to manage the ideal operating situation on the shop floor

The high degree of variation in the assembly of gearboxes at the Mercedes-Benz plant at Gaggenau places high demands on planning and managing human resources. How many employees with which skills and capabilities are necessary for each shift and how can these employees be used in a flexible manner? A joint project conducted by Daimler AG and Deutsche MTM-Gesellschaft mbH provided the answer to these questions. It focused on productivity improvements using a tool to determine and control the optimum operating situation. This tool is now being used as a new device on the shop floor on a daily basis.

The ideal operating situation describes the optimum utilization of an employee with work content in the work process – while also keeping an eye on the achievable performance level in comparison with the cycle time in order to prevent any waiting times.

The assembly activities on line 2 at the Gaggenau factory were initially analyzed with the Daimler C values at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 – at each assembly point and with each gearbox variant. The C values were checked at this time and adapted, if necessary. The data obtained in the mix of planning and performance analyses not only forms the well-founded basis for planning the use of human resources precisely. The uniform standard for determining times enables a comparison of working methods and ensures the necessary transparency.

During the next stage, an interface for automatically inputting the data for controlling the operating situation was developed for TiCon. The line balancing models for seven different employee scenarios were then logged in the new tool using flow charts. Disruption workshops were held at the bottlenecks. After work methods had been selected, the employees in the groups were able to test the most suitable method. The results or the necessary changes to procedures were then integrated in the operating situation tool. Validation of the operating situation logging tool takes place by daily measuring KPIs (gearbox output according to the tool compared to the loss of gearboxes due to disruption).

A reference month was selected to determine the increase in productivity – and the number of gearboxes assembled and the presence of the employees were observed. These figures were then verified with the new operating situation logging tool. The correct use of employees per working area alone provided an increase of 3%.

Thanks to the all-round approach of MTM advice and the building block logics, i.e. the enhancement options for each building block, Mercedes-Benz is now very satisfied. This also applies to the use of TiCon. The MTM software solution plays an important role in coping with the upcoming tasks. Due to the automatic data integration, it is possible to minimize the manual work, for instance.

The activities on gearbox assembly line 1 at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Gaggenau are being analyzed at the moment. As with line 2, the works council is involved – in addition to representatives from the group, production engineers and colleagues from industrial engineering. The operating situation tool should be available for line 1 too by the middle/end of February 2017. The next step will involve extending the prediction possibilities.

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