Chiron Group has officially opened its new Precision Factory, constructed specifically for the assembly of new machine series which combine productivity and precision. Optimized assembly and logistics processes in the plant will also ensure shorter delivery times.
With a maximum annual production capacity of 400 high-precision machining centers, the nearly 150,000ft2 Chiron Precision Factory in Neuhausen, Germany, is currently the most modern machine factory in Europe. Costing more than $38 million and completed in just 15 months, the greenfield building is the largest single investment in almost 100 years of Chiron's corporate history.
In planning and equipping the new factory, IT experts and production planners sought to maximize digitalization of the machine production process in order to achieve high productivity and traceable assembly quality. The plant layout is designed for optimal material flow with logistics spine for all flows of people and materials; centralized final assemblies, technical offices and logistics areas; and central order picking for machines and systems.
The plant operation was also designed to be paperless. “The digital assembly folders and logistics bookings are important milestones on the road to a paperless factory,” a company spokesman says.
A pick-by-light system helps the order picker to access stored parts quickly and securely.
For testing and quality assurance purposes and as a reference point, the delivery state of the machines is documented through what the company refers to as a digital fingerprint which contains all data related to each machine.
Also, the Chiron Precision Factory makes an important contribution towards climate protection: waste heat produced by the machines during test runs is used to heat the factory. In fact, the plant environment is controlled through a Smart factory cockpit for managing air-conditioning, lighting, and camera systems.