Manufacturing Excellence has long been a core objective of our teams. It is about being efficient, minimizing waste, and above all, doing it in a safe environment.
Today, our internal technology teams bring together R&D and plant engineers to drive operational excellence by sharing expertise and best practices. Our innovation teams at C-TEC's Voreppe Center and its Plymouth Hub work closely with the International Scientific Council of Constellium to identify trends and upcoming opportunities.
Our Manufacturing Excellence program is about continuously improving to become the best manufacturer in our business. It means taking full advantage of our talents, our assets, and our technology in order to manufacture our products safely, efficiently, and without waste.
This program, which evolved out of our “Lean” program, demands commitment from all our people and has had an extremely positive effect on our performance. We set our sights on quality in 2014, on-time delivery in 2015, and on flexibility in 2016. Today, nearly all our plants and production unit managers understand the key principles and are using the tools in their everyday working lives, so that our central team can concentrate on providing support and promoting best practices across our network of plants.
Recognizing the nature of our industry’s materials and machinery, our EHS program (Environment Health and Safety) is a central part of how we design and implement every procedure.
Best Practices - operational excellence in our plants
Constellium encourages the interaction of cross-company teams to support our business units and sites and enhance our overall performance.
Our 11 internal technology networks bring together R&D and plant engineers. They drive operational excellence by sharing their aluminium processing expertise and discussing best practices at plant level.
The areas they cover include industrialization, casting, molten metal, recycling, hot and cold rolling, finishing, extrusion, and maintenance. They also contribute to managing knowledge for the company. Inside learning is supported by a TechNet forum enabling rapid and sustainable information exchanges within the entire Constellium technical community. Outside learning can be rapidly assimilated into our processes through a technology watch.
Developing Tomorrow’s Processes
Constellium is exploring opportunities for tomorrow’s production processes using Digital Manufacturing (“Industry 4.0”). The key concept behind Industry 4.0 is the combined impact of multiple digital technologies, such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), Cloud computing, Big Data and Analytics, Manufacturing Simulation (with Digital Twins systems for example), Augmented reality, and Autonomous/collaborative robots.
These technologies are starting to change the way plants are running today, and this will accelerate as production becomes more and more networked and interlinked, bringing wide-ranging changes and opportunities in many aspects of the industry.
Advanced data analytics can help identify the most effective manufacturing process windows or predict maintenance needs. New sensor technologies will improve our products and processes. Augmented reality could help to train the next generation of plant personnel and allow to leverage expertise across the whole organization. Productivity improvements will be driven by automating repetitive or dangerous manual tasks with collaborative robots and automating repetitive intellectual tasks through machine learning.
Such a fundamental transformation will require years, and Constellium is continuously exploring and monitoring digital disruption in order to accompany its plants and customers towards tomorrow’s processes.