SIMUL8 helps General Motors on the road to recovery
Virtual Manufacturing is the key to reducing costs and improving efficiency in GM’s worldwide operations says SIMUL8 CEO.
24th August 2010: The recent announcement that General Motors has returned to profit and is planning the largest IPO in US history, comes as no surprise to SIMUL8 Corporation CEO, Mark Elder.
GM, the biggest US carmaker, has undergone a worldwide efficiency drive in the past year that has seen SIMUL8 simulation software used in manufacturing plants from Michigan to Bangalore in a bid to reduce costs and maximize efficiency.
Mark Elder says, “Using SMUL8 is a necessary step to getting back in the black for GM as it allows them to visualize their processes, test ideas to become more efficient, and ultimately improve their bottom line.”
GM Holden, an Australian subsidiary of GM, uses SIMUL8 across a number of departments to assess factors like line speed, shift pattern changes, and the impact of new model introductions at their Elizabeth manufacturing plant in the south of the country.
As part of the GM efficiency drive, Joy Boath, Senior Manufacturing Engineer at GM Holden, was faced with the challenge of responding to an increase in demand without increasing the total number of hours worked on their complex General Assembly line. Joy says, “Vehicle manufacturing is a highly competitive industry, and we need to remain flexible to respond to fluctuations in demand. SIMUL8 has been a highly effective tool for us in achieving this flexibility.”
Using SIMUL8, a virtual model of the General Assembly process was created and an increase in demand was simulated to test capacity. This gave Joy the ability to actually see where bottlenecks appeared in the process and test ways to eliminate them.
Joy says, “We increased throughput by 5% and we were able to save on the expense of hiring more production employees and also saved on the expense of maintenance and the purchase of extra carriers – which had been looked at by management as a way to increase production rates.”
Due to the success of the simulation Joy has already started working on the next SIMUL8 projects in GM Holden.
As GM looks to the future this type of efficiency drive will be vital in ensuring profits continue to rise.