An automobile has over 30,000 individual parts, right down to the tiniest screws and clips. In the production of an automobile, a good proportion of parts and components are actually made by specialized part vendors.
The vendors complete an assembly or component at their premises, moving the finished items in bulk to their customers’ plant for final assembly.
Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), together with Perodua, has initiated a programme to improve the production aspects of the national car company’s vendors.
“The automotive industry can only expand when there is a collaborative effort in the entire automotive ecosystem. The MARii Karakuri programme is an example of a collaborative platform that enables ecosystem enhancement,” said Dato’ Madani Sahari, CEO of MARii.
The MARii Karakuri Programme is aimed to enhance the capabilities and competitiveness of local vendors through the implementation of Karakuri. The principle of Karakuri focuses on simple, easily-implemented automation that relies on natural forces such as gravity and momentum instead of an electrical power supply.
In manufacturing, Karakuri is usually implemented to reduce non-value-added work in a process without the need to invest in more expensive systems. Typically, this applies to tasks that have to do with work transfer, loading and unloading, as well as assembly. The Karakuri approach optimizes energy and working speed, reduces workload, and eliminates redundant work processes to increase productivity, all without depending on a power supply.
Moreover, when a task is taken over by the Karakuri system, the worker can now focus more on value-added work. This will result in higher quality products.
Key areas of improvement that the participants focused on include better ergonomics (making lifting easier and safer), reduced movement, reduced cycle time, better sorting (first-in-first-out), and reduced storage space.
A total of 30 participants from 15 companies successfully completed the MARii Karakuri Programme and were awarded their certificate of completion in a closing ceremony that was held at Perodua headquarters in Rawang.
Companies that participated in the MARii Karakuri programme recorded an average increase in productivity by 30 percent, where the projects were implemented. Companies also reported incurring negligible investment in implementing their Karakuri projects.
MARii and Perodua through Kelab Vendor Perodua (KVP) will place a large emphasis on the Karakuri program. “Karakuri will enable Perodua suppliers to reach the level of global suppliers,” said Dato’ Madani Sahari.
Image from a Toyota plant
Dato’ Zainal Abidin, President and CEO of Perodua added, ”Being a vendor with Perodua is not easy. We at Perodua keep a stock-level of four hours, while the vendors keep about a stock-level equivalent to one work-shift. Keeping stock is waste.”
“In term of delivery performance, I would credit also our vendors are the same level as the ASEAN vendors,” concluded Dato’ Zainal.