Project – Technology – Quality
We provide a tangible engineering upgrade to projects by offering a holistic approach and collaborating with our customers' teams like partners. We have been refining the services of Schnitzer Group continually since 1992. During this process, three essential service areas that are the same for all locations have taken shape, both in our own country and internationally.
We are familiar with nearly all common production processes in the automotive sector. In particular, we focus on:
Our team members come from different backgrounds. All employees have a technical education or a degree in engineering. We are rooted in our trade, create solutions with a focus on real-world applications, provide support in implementation and verify the effectiveness of measures. In the course of collaboration, you have a dedicated contact person in keeping with our slogan of "one face to the customer," while benefiting from the expertise of the entire Schnitzer Group.
Our bottom line: You cannot manage a project until you have gained a technical understanding of it.
Our team: All SYSTEMIC project managers at Schnitzer Group have real-world experience and specialized technical expertise. They have strong communication skills and project-specific hands-on experience.
Understanding – through well-founded technical, process-specific and methodical knowledge
Milestones – are identified, clearly described and planned in a viable way
Commitment – The timetable has been coordinated and confirmed with everyone involved in the project
Project-Reviews – Risks are detected early on and the project is realigned
Common thread –Transparency, prioritization and a sense of direction in the project – for everyone involved
Reporting – Project status in line with management and with operational goals in mind
Empathetic – All sides benefit from positive interpersonal collaboration
Communicative – Qualitative and quantitative improvement of project communication
Diplomatic – Respectful, open-minded and professional demeanor
Engaging – Encouraging everyone involved in the project to collaborate
Analytic – Neutral, objective outlook with the ability to look ahead and keep project goals in focus
Motivational – Strong solidarity and shared goals – among team members and in the supply chain
SYSTEMIC Upgrade – needs-based expansion of your project team, from creation of the initial physical prototypes to achieving a stable series process following SOP (Start of Production).
Purchasing – proper, important - Safeguarding manufacturability: Based on the product design, we support the sourcing process and can suggest suitable toolmakers and suppliers for the product. If requested, we act as an interface between the toolmaker, supplier and customer.
Change process under control – milestone-based management of the component change and optimization process. Never go without knowing the technical status of each individual part.
Component provision deadlines in focus – status-specific planning and implementation of component and tool changes to ensure status-specific provision of samples for validation and testing.
Overview of the entire timeline – Development and quality requirements for reaching specific milestones. Concentrating on potential major obstacles that could prevent milestones from being reached.
Safeguarding start-up and peak production – Analyzing and eliminating bottlenecks in the production and procurement process – technically well-versed and focused on real-world solutions.
Management – of task-force teams, proper prioritization of the available resources.
Expansion – of the task force team, specialist handling of urgent sub-projects that pose an increased risk to the overall project.
Moderation and mediator – between the parties, technically well-versed, neutral, goal-oriented and focused on real-world implementation.
Management-focused – way of conveying complex matters and establishing a clear basis for decision-making.
Transparency – an overview of relevant project parameters, progress and status is provided on an info monitor.
Supplier management – in-house and external strategic coordination of all activities connected to supply activities.
Supplier qualification – development and qualification of on-site suppliers in Europe, the US and China to ensure that customer expectations and specifications are fulfilled
Supplier selection – Customers can rely on the empirical values and networks of the global Schnitzer Group. We use procurement market analyses and supplier evaluations to provide answers to questions about outsourcing, location selection and costs with respect to the supply chain and/or we point out alternatives.
Open positions – Project management, quality management and technical management positions are filled by Schnitzer Group employees on an as-needed basis.
Flexibility – In the course of the project, open positions in quality assurance (quality officers and auditors), sought-after technology experts (e.g. machine set-up, injection molding) and positions for those responsible for components are filled based on need and on the specific specialty.
Hands-on experience – All Schnitzer employees have real-world experience and specialized technical expertise. They have strong communication skills and project-specific hands-on experience.
Seamless transition – If our customer has hired a new employee for the open position, we guarantee an effective exchange of information and training process until the individual is 100% self-sufficient at doing the job.
Holistic planning – All critical variables in moving a production line, system or various tools from production location A to location B are prerequisites for reliable materials planning.
Technical safeguarding – Is the infrastructure at the new location prepared for the operating equipment? Are the injection molding machine and peripheral equipment suitable for the tooling? Are there established in-house processes and options for maintaining and repairing operating equipment?
Quality – Is the new production environment suitable for the product in terms of cleanliness, hall layout, etc.? Are the proper measurement and testing options available? Does the real-life quality standard fit the product? How is quality ensured at the new location?
People – Is the proper personnel available, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and does the mindset fit the product? Have the new employees been trained to the product? Are the personnel following work instructions? Has management prioritized the project properly?
Logistics – Is the connection to the ERP system working? Is there safeguarding in place for logistics processes, internal and external packaging as well as warehouse and logistics spaces?
Ramp-up – Is there safeguarding in place for advance production, inventories and ranges? Has everything been made ready for a smooth ramp-up? Have sufficient buffers been planned for any accidents or surprises that may occur? What back-up scenarios are there?
Pre-selection – Creating a catalog of criteria, extensive supplier database and global supplier contact network
Inquiry – Creating/checking the requirements specifications, translating specifications into the local language where applicable, independently carrying out the inquiry
Classification – On-site assessment, risk analysis, evaluation and preparation
Feasibility analysis – Ensuring feasibility, analyzing the function and evaluating low-cost alternatives
Quality management – Troubleshooting, implementing the plan of action, strategic and tailor-made quality management
Change management – Support during the change, moderation of task force meetings, troubleshooting, documentation of lessons learned and best practices, monitoring the change status
Support for buy-off and relocation – Tool acceptance and initial pattern provision, checking specifications according to the requirements specifications, final acceptance and logging, relocation planning
Ramp-up management – Production preparation, integration of tools on the series system, defining the milestone plan, producing and testing up to the series ramp-up
Simulation meets empirical knowledge – When a component is at the end of its development period and is ready to make the transition to series production, this means it may fulfill the requirements of the functional specification or take into account modified basic conditions— But can it actually be manufactured yet and, if so, at what price? Ensuring this in advance is one of the competencies of our team. As part of concept validation, we check manufacturability with respect to the required operating equipment.
Assessment of manufacturability – We use 3D data models to check properties such as surfaces, tool division, undercuts, material accumulations, draw radii and draw depths. Critical areas are identified and solution suggestions are worked out.
Series implementation – We accompany component development from the design engineering phase to testing and even series acceptance in auditing and cubing. We are involved in gap and flush inspections as well as assembly trials.
In this area, we check components for manufacturability and optimize them as necessary. We specifically focus on the component appropriately based on the manufacturing technology. For example, we take into account concepts such as undercuts, division, trim cuts, demolding, wall thicknesses, warping, openings, weight, binding lines, radii and wall thickness ratios.
In the area of automation development, we check two things: whether automation is necessary and whether it can be implemented at all. Specifically, the handling process is verified here and the degree of automation is determined. If it is discovered that the process chain is not ideal, we suggest alternative chains. Here, Schnitzer Group carries out more cost-benefit analyses and the qualitative evaluation of the processes involved.
The feasibility analysis indicates risks for a potential product or manufacturing process. Here, we verify the process, manufacturing cluster, cycle and cycle times and validate the technology. This is where the concept of supply chain evaluation comes into play, since the viability of the supply chain has to be verified. On top of that, we focus on concepts such as sustainability, not to mention the packaging and logistics areas, since these are major factors influencing the costs of a product.
Manufacturing process development incorporates planning of the manufacturing process. The manufacturing strategy is verified, the framework parameters are validated and the manufacturing process chain is analyzed. At this stage, we advise our customers regarding which technologies and manufacturing processes are viable or which alternative manufacturing process are conceivable. It is necessary here to find the right balance between overloading with respect to requirements and to tests. In manufacturing process development, the costs must always be kept in mind. This is why we provide support in carrying out the CAPEX and OPEX cost analysis.
Material selection includes the steps that are necessary for defining a suitable material. We start by creating a material specification. We also provide guidance for material comparisons and trials. Based on the specific material, we look at properties such as paintability, seam formation and shrinkage studies and we also examine the effects on tooling design. The next step is the price verification, often in combination with a procurement market analysis. If the material being verified turns out to be unsuitable, we can provide assistance in the search for a replacement material.
Reliable basis for costing: We know the costs for the tooling and its various modifications. Our market presence and international networking keep our finger on the pulse of current conditions. We maintain an overview of the current situation, including supplier capacity, the man-hours that have to be invested in producing the tooling and the prices at which the materials involved are traded.
Theoretical vs. actual costs: What does it cost to produce a certain piece of tooling? Not only is the answer to this question an important starting point for budgeting and tendering, it also provides important basic data for the entire project costing. The effective costs of a piece of tooling depend on different variables of the current market situation, including the material price, the supplier utilization/capacity, duties and transport costs, not to mention the expense of support and optimization. These all cause quotations to deviate greatly from the actual costs.
High-quality individual parts are the basis for all subsequent process steps and a faultless product. We carry out test series, evaluate them and define optimization measures on an individual part level. We define relevant production parameters for eliminating fault patterns and analyze the best possible compromise for all process and component requirements (e.g. using DOE). Schnitzer Group has specialists in all common manufacturing technologies and many special processes.
Continuous improvement of all process steps ultimately leads to stable production and profitable value creation. The structured analysis of bottlenecks, scrap paretos, ergonomics and handling in assembly, work instructions, training, etc. forms the basis for effective decisions regarding process optimization. To optimize something, you have to have done the hard work required to gain an in-depth technical understanding. We think these are words to live by.
Sampling seminars – With training courses for customers and suppliers, we familiarize our business partners with common quality management systems and processes. In this way, we create a common understanding among our customers and the supply chain for the required sampling discussions, sampling documents and customer requirements or specifications.
Sustainable long-term development – of suppliers through training sessions and courses while setting up the sampling processes. We also provide valuable impetus and support suppliers in the sampling process or in filling customer portals such as BEON, IMDS, etc.
In operational quality management, we analyze the manufacturing processes on site and identify the causes of deviations. We introduce pragmatic control mechanisms, train employees and are ourselves on site to reduce reject rates. We give hands-on instruction in stabilization to reduce quality costs. In accordance with commonly applied standards such as DIN EN ISO 9001, IATF 16949, and VDA, we make use of Q methods such as the following:
Schnitzer Group has supplier auditors on staff that carry out audits in accordance with the following standards/technical regulations:
In the course of test equipment acceptance, we assess whether the inspection and test equipment is capable and correct according to customer specifications. We also review the associated documentation and check it for correctness and completeness.
When companies want to establish and expand their quality management due to customer requirements, we advise them on the selection of a QM system and accompany its introduction within the framework of strategic quality management. Specifically, we offer certification support in this area in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001 and IATF 16949.
The topic of supplier development is a building block in all common certifications and technical specifications. Here we review the starting points and lend our expertise to help find a lasting fix for detected weak points - always taking into account the interests/requirements of both parties.
The QM experts at Schnitzer Group give sampling seminars for customers and suppliers according to VDA Volume 2 version April 2020, QS 9000 PPAP (see Schnitzer Group seminars and reservation possibility).