In the article ‘Winning Practices for Improving your Production Process’ we helped you find the answer to the question: “To improve production efficiency, should we invest in automation or outsource our cutting ?” In this article, we’ll discuss best practices for outsourcing your cutting automation and for increasing productivity.
The following case study details the story of Hollandia, a Dutch market leader in metal superstructures. Hollandia realized significant productivity gains after outsourcing all their cutting work for one of their latest offshore structure projects – a water treatment module.
Hollandia was recently granted the ambitious project of fabricating a water treatment module for MPP (size: 15x15x15). The structure consisted of 800 beams and 343 pipes for water treatment installation decks on board. It was made of beams HEA100 up to IPE 400 and pipes of Ø127mm up to Ø610mm.
Achieving high cutting quality was of crucial importance for the project. Also, due to the fact that the platform would be located offshore, all the beam edges needed to have a radius. In order to focus on what Hollandia does best – fitting and welding – the company decided to outsource all cutting: “What we discovered in the past couple of years is that we get better quality results when we outsource rather than doing it ourselves. We have some of the best welding control and this is one of our strongest USPs. More specifically, two years ago we took the form decision to outsource all product prefabrication.” Ad Rietveld – Manager Outsourcing at Hollandia – said.
Hollandia was under great time pressure to deliver the project within an agreed-upon deadline. Projects on such scope are subject to tight deadlines, requiring perfect organization and thorough production flow.
“The biggest challenge of this project is the time. Besides having to deliver on time, we also have to deliver very high quality product.”, Jeroen van Merrienboer – Snr. Work Preparation Structural at Hollandia
Hollandia decided to outsource all thermal cutting jobs for the water treatment system to HGG. “There’s always that chance of receiving cut parts later than expected, but when outsourcing to HGG we realized it would not be a problem. HGG is a reliable company. We always get the right quality results on time,” Ad Rietveld – Manager Outsourcing at Hollandia – explains. By outsourcing all cutting to HGG, Hollandia now focuses on what they are best at – fitting and welding.
HGG had to prepare all beams with rounded flange edges. Making the beam edges round helped Hollandia better preserve their offshore structures from corrosion. Frits Boekee, QC Engineer at Hollandia, explained the benefits of HGG edge rounding by rolling like this: “In the past, lots of paint systems failed to stick to sharp beam edges. That’s why we had to round them to a minimum of 2mm. You can accomplish this by grinding or milling, but by applying edge rounding by rolling, you get an equal surface and it’s the same everywhere. Consequently, it’s a great advantage for us to get this done before it gets to the shop floor from the subcontractor.”
The model was made in Tekla software. According to Hollandia, it was then very easy to integrate with HGG’s software and machinery. What appears to be the greatest benefit of outsourcing to HGG, accurate cuts which minimizes grinding: “One of the biggest advantages of HGG is that they make bevelled cuts on the profiles. That saves us many grinding hours. We have a tolerance of 1 or 2mm, so there’s almost nothing left to grind and we can build very quickly. This is very good!” Hans Peter Labee – Fitter at Hollandia, adds.
In this article you have read how the Dutch based company Hollandia realized better production efficiency by outsourcing the cutting process. Read the related article ‘Invest in automation to Improve Production Efficiency’ to find out how Kurganstalmost found their solution in investing in automation.
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