Office Log

2020-04-06

Meet Mr. Lean

To produce a GeoCore X10 according to Lean, Orexplore hired Swedish engineer Kurt Rapp. With 50 years of experience in construction and production at Electrolux and Philips, Kurt and his former colleague Rolf Westman developed a production line unique to Orexplore.

It was when Kevin Rebenius was in search of a construction consultant for Orexplore's production line that Kevin and Kurt Rapp's paths crossed for the very first time.

"When I was approached by Kevin and Orexplore, they were at stage when they were eager to start building a production line for GeoCore X10, at the Kista headquarters in Stockholm. With my background and knowledge within Lean, I immediately discovered that there were good conditions for creating a Lean production line, a line that would ensure quality production to the final product. Worth mentioning is that it is not common for smaller companies in a start-up phase to understand the value of building a production line according to Lean principles. But Kevin realized the benefits and value, hence brought in both myself and Rolf Westman."

Orexplore Lean Production

"The collaboration has been absolutely crucial to how we designed the production line. We have moved from detail to detail, created module after module and constantly analyzed every step. Therefore, patience and a close cooperation were of utmost importance."

Kurt and Rolf arrived just at the right time and, together with Orexplore's physicists, the planning process began, making sure all needs and requirements were taken in to account. A collaboration that went on throughout the whole development of the new production line.


"The collaboration has been absolutely crucial to how we designed the production line. We have moved from detail to detail, created module after module and constantly analyzed every step. Therefore, patience and a close cooperation were of utmost importance."

"The collaboration has been absolutely crucial to how we designed the production line. We have moved from detail to detail, created module after module and constantly analyzed every step. Therefore, patience and a close cooperation were of utmost importance."

The new production line consists of 24 stations, which can be operated by different team collaborations. There are a total of 3,000 parts to be assembled in a specific order. At the moment it takes 24 hours to complete a GeoCore X10. However to be able to maximize the production capacity, it is necessary to be working according to the Lean-Principles, which subsequently means that no additional pair of hands will be required. Something the user manual also dictates.

"Many companies that build advanced products such as GeoCore X10, miss out on the important part of creating detailed manuals to secures an effective flow at all times. We have developed our own manuals, which means we can easily set-up a production-line anywhere in the world based on our detailed manuals."

You are not just talking about Lean Production, you are also talking about Lean Design. What does that mean?

"For us, this means that the construction of the production line is reflected in the product. If you want a production line that is perfectly adapted to your product, you must design and construct shelves, suspensions, carts and other things that will create a perfect flow."



What has this meant for Orexplore's production line?


"That we have designed and constructed everything that is not standard. For example, we have made shelves that are only 160 centimeters high, which creates an overview of the production. These shelves can be moved around with a truck which makes it easy to load stock without affecting the production. Since that all units are removable, it also makes it easy for us to create partial assembly when needed."



Do you have any own principles regarding production?


"A person who stands up has significantly better control and skills than one who sits. I also preach that you should think the same for a small-scale production as for a production that builds one million units a day. If you do not take the design of your production line seriously, you run the risk of major problems, both in increased costs for not being able to keep up with the production rate, but also the quality will suffer. And as a young DeepTech company on their way out with their products in the world, it is crucial that clients know what they are getting. Otherwise, Orexplore will only be perceived as an expensive product. In the end, it is also important that an optimized production line both promotes a sustainable way with reduced energy use and reduced waste of materials.”

Name: Kurt Rapp

Age: 69
Title: Industrialization consultant

Education: M. Sc. Machine Engineering, KTH

Name: Rolf Westman
Age: 63
Title: Mechanical designer
Education: M. Sc. Electrical Engineering, KTH

Lean according to Wikipedia
Lean Production originates from Toyota's development strategy within the Toyota Production System and the Lean strategy. The main principle within Lean is to eliminate waste. All activities carried out in a business are categorized based on whether they are value-adding or not. The non-value adding activities are a waste and these should be systematically eliminated, which is done through different types of tools.

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