Test process improvements at Perkins Engines Ltd UK

The manufacturing department at Perkins Engines Ltd. UK has been challenged to reduce costs as part of a profit recovery project.

Perkins manufactures and assembles diesel engines and one of the potential areas to reduce costs has been identified in the engine cold test area for 4-cylinder engines on assembly track 4. The aim of the cold test is to find any defects or leaking components early in the assembly process to reduce rectification costs and to increase the quality.

To prepare engines for test, a manual rigging and de-rigging activity takes place prior and post the test machines. The rigging and de-rigging operations are performed by a total of 14 operators. The project objective has been to look into the possibilities to reduce the rigging and de-rigging process by implementing process simplification and automation and thereby free labour to reduce costs.

A simultaneous engineering exercise has been held in cooperation with a company called Johann A. Krause to obtain an automated and simplified rigging and de-rigging solution for suppliers to quote on. As preparation for the SE the current rigging equipment as well as all variants of engine components that are being tested in cold test were identified and put together.

By suggesting a simplified test process, the amount of rigging positions on the engine can been reduced and thereby a high percentage of the rigging equipment eliminated, thus labour can be freed to perform other operations. The output of the SE showed on a possibility to reduce labour by 10 operators at this particular operation.

Author: Soderstedt, Sandra

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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