“We’re always striving to be the best...These technology enhancements have helped foster our safety culture, uphold our quality standards and drive our business forward.” - Fernando Camacho, Quality Leader at ITW Global Safety
Product safety is embedded within ITW’s Customer-Back Innovation framework. From helping customers first determine the problem to building the capability to manufacture, support and sell the needed product/service, our teams consider effective control plans to ensure manufactured products are high quality and safe.
ITW Global Safety, a division in the Automotive OEM segment, specializes in the design, manufacture and assembly of injection molding plastic components and automated assembly. Product lines for occupant safety systems include components for retractors, buckles and airbags.
The safety team at our Monterrey, Mexico, facility, which serves the North American automotive industry with multiple applications for occupant safety system components, has been harnessing the power of technology since the start of the year to create a safer manufacturing environment and increase productivity.
Using a well-known business intelligence platform to analyze multiple data streams, and acting according to those real-time insights and automated workflows, the team has been able to realize significant efficiencies. For example, they have vastly simplified preparation for the facility’s monthly operations meetings.
“I used to spend the better part of a week preparing for each meeting,” said Nahiely González, a manufacturing manager within the facility. “Now, it takes about 20 minutes, and within a few clicks, I can respond to questions during each meeting with real-time insights that help enhance business performance.”
In addition to strengthening the analysis the team is able to perform, fully embracing the cloud-based solution has led to the creation of online databases that are updated in real-time. Implementing automated workflows has streamlined processes for everything from inspecting and documenting defective materials to delivering finished goods to the warehouse.
“All our recordkeeping used to be done manually before being input into our computer system,” said Fernando Camacho, a quality leader within the facility. “The efficiencies gained have been tremendous.”
The introduction of QR codes has aided the digitalization effort as a more efficient way to provide – and control access to – information. Machines now feature QR codes that offer direct access to relevant product information, saving time for auditors and other authorized users. All documentation is stored securely on the company’s intranet.
Camacho estimates that the transition away from hard-copy documents eliminates the printing of 1,200 pages per month. “Our transition to the use of tablets and mobile phones even allows for team members to zoom in to content, enabling them to do their jobs more effectively.”
Inspired by the positive impact of their investment in technology, the Mexico safety team plans to continue rolling out additional training opportunities to further integrate the business intelligence system into the facility’s operations.
“We’re always striving to be the best,” said Camacho. “These technology enhancements have helped foster our safety culture, uphold our quality standards and drive our business forward.”