Wouter Tielemans +32 475 94 40 10

CRH Landscaping

Ordina paves the way for production optimization at CRH

The fact that the economic crisis hit the construction industry hardest was bad news for CRH Landscaping Europe. The market leader in paving solutions found its prices severely squeezed. Therefore CRH started looking for new opportunities, even within its own organization. ‘Continuous improvement' became a key concept, and improving efficiency was a must. In the production plants, CRH deployed iMESure, the Manufacturing Execution System from Ordina. Using up-to-date information from iMESure, CRH can now cut costs in the entire production chain while investing heavily in product development.

CRH Landscaping Contact Contact Wouter Tielemans

customer

CRH Landscaping Europe is part of the international group CRH, a manufacturer of building materials. In Europe, CRH Landscaping is the market leader in paving solutions for private customers and government. The general public is more familiar with the brand names Marlux in Belgium and Struyk Verwo in the Netherlands. CRH Landscaping Europe operates 70 manufacturing facilities with 2,250 people in six countries and has annual turnover of 500 million euro.

challenge

70 to 80% of CRH's operational processes take place at 70 European production sites. That is also where the bulk of the investment occurs. However, CRH had no insight into causes of stoppages in the production chain. It was also unclear how the organization, technology or maintenance within the factories needed to be adjusted. Therefore CRH started the 'continuous improvement' project. At the operational level, this meant increasing the efficiency of production. But it was also important on a strategic level: management needed correct and up-to-date production information. CRH wished to identify best practices in production and convert that into investment in machinery or production capacity.

solution

A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) was the ideal tool to put those efficiencies into practice. High on the priority list: the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) component, the ratio between the amount of ‘within-spec’ products that a machine turns out and the maximum possible. CRH chose iMESure, Ordina's MES platform, for all its European production plants. The system was integrated with SAP, CRH's EPR system. iMESure is modular. In the future, the solution will integrate additional information flows such as energy or material consumption. Or the automation of manual interventions on machine couplings.

result

Using the MES, much hidden knowledge in the production lines was revealed. Microstops, short interruptions caused by a technical failure or by lack of a raw material, are always spotted now. iMESure shows the cause, and outlines a solution. The software is a great asset at the organizational level too. The plant managers now organize their production, maintenance and cleaning time better. Based on the best practices that they extract from iMESure, they examine how it can be done more efficiently. The continuous pursuit of improvement leads to sound internal competition within the group. Finally, the MES appears to be a catalyst for the continuous improvement spirit: the follow-up plan has many new change projects in store. The combination of iMESure and the improvement programme has cut production costs significantly in recent years.