To continue to offer its customers a maximum of quality, reliability, flexibility, and supplier dependability, GEA has invested in a new assembly line at its location in Frickenhausen (Germany). Beginning now, this plant will manufacture GEA Bock FK vehicle compressors for refrigeration and air conditioning: compressors of the FK30, FK40, and FK50 series. Production takes place according to the principle of line assembly.
These open type piston compressors represent the core component of many air conditioning systems used by prominent bus manufacturers. In addition, these compressors – with 2, 4, or 6 cylinders – are extensively used for rail air conditioning and transport refrigeration of goods.
The benefits of the new GEA Bock assembly line result from an automated fault prevention system as well as from close linking of the assembly processes with the respective customer requirements. The orders are scanned with barcode, which provides our assembly line colleagues with all required order-related drawings and details on a monitor during compressor assembly. This assures better linking of special customer requirements (for shut-off valves, to take one example) with the flow of equipment being assembled – and enables immediate detection of any anomalies during assembly.
Testing of the compressors is especially matched to the respective product type and to specific customer requirements. All compressors undergo helium tests for tightness and general functional tests. A special test stand assures reliable and efficient analysis of all functions and parameters. This guarantees the customer a maximum of safety and reliability for all functions and performance data.
The assembly processes run according to standardized procedures that enable more flexible reactions in handling large order input – with resulting increase in production volume. Production of the compressors takes place at consecutive assembly stations. At each station, the assembly worker has exactly the materials and the special tools that he needs for that step in the assembly line process.
Steffen Schmid, responsible for planning and management of the FK assembly line: “As a result of our innovation, we have succeeded in eliminating waste in our process. Predictive recognition of faults is now possible. We can now take positive action to prevent defects and to further enhance our very high quality standards. There is clear separation between assembly and logistics. We consider value-adding activities entirely apart from non-value-adding activities, and we avoid mixing the orders.”
As a result of restructuring of in-house procedures and processes, GEA can now not only enhance its quality in production of FK compressors, but can also better satisfy customers’ needs and specifications.