Mechanical & plant engineering

Characteristics and particularities
Industry insight

The mechanical and plant engineering sector occupies a key economic position as the largest industrial employer, pre-eminent export industry and driver of innovation. Given that the demand for capital goods is increasingly cyclic and purchase decisions are made at ever shorter notice, quality and innovative drive have become insufficient for companies to survive on the global marketplace. Many mechanical and plant engineering companies are responding to the immense costs and the declining predictability of potential orders by increasing productivity and capacitive flexibility. In many cases they are developing new business fields and occupying product niches, which is leading to additional requirements that need to be managed efficiently. For the companies in this industry especially, the challenges and opportunities of Industry 4.0 and digitisation will dominate the next few years. Besides initiating changes within product technology, it will be imperative to introduce state-of-the-art equipment in production and logistics in order to exploit these fresh opportunities.

Challenges to
ensure competitiveness

Specific framework conditions and special challenges that are characteristic of the mechanical and plant engineering industries:

  • Progressive globalisation of production and the value chains
  • Development of cost advantages through new procurement channels (global sourcing)
  • Consistent SCM strategies and processes: Distribution, production, logistics, procurement, order fulfilment
  • Introduction of flexible production and value chains through lean methods, e.g. by introducing one-piece flow
  • Reduction in throughput times and adherence to obligatory delivery schedules
  • Increase in procurement volume through reduction of in-house value added, thus enhancing the significance of procurement and supply chain management
  • Adaptation and implementation of Industry 4.0 solutions and trends; reduction in product complexity through modular structures
  • Delayed variant development through clear postponement strategies
  • Expansion of services in a sustainably successful business field; establishment of independent spare parts logistics with high availability and optimised inventories

Selected consulting focuses

  • Optimisation of procurement networks (global sourcing)
  • Optimisation of purchasing processes and introduction of supplier relationship management
  • Total landed cost optimisation
  • Supplier relationship management
  • Lean production and lean logistics
  • Industry 4.0 approaches in assembly and logistics
  • Intralogistics according to the line back principle
  • Logistics centres for production supply
  • Order picking zones and supermarkets concepts
  • In-house transport concepts using tugger trains or automated guided vehicles (AGV)
  • Material flow concepts for production locations
  • Expansion of plant structures
  • Line-side presentation concepts for assembly and manufacturing areas
  • Implementation of one-piece flow in production
  • Outsourcing of logistics, tenders for service providers
  • Inventory optimisation using big data analytics tools
  • Optimisation of production planning and control, MES and ERP IT applications
  • After-sales services, spare part fulfilment in warehouse management and distribution

Project examples
Customer benefits through industry expertise

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