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Assembled PCBs are checked using in-circuit testers. Adapters scan the PCBs, compare the result with the program and identify improper assembly, interruptions, short-circuits or deviations in the electrical values straight away.

Designed in Germany

The only difference between the devices manufactured in Ireland and Germany is the name plate, which bears the marking "Made in Germany" or "Made in Ireland". In other words, "Designed in Germany, made in Ireland". All inspection and production procedures are replicated precisely in Ireland, where the implementation timeframe was around twelve months. During this time, various ideas and possibilities were discussed and processes and potential solutions were analysed. With a mindset of "Train the Trainer", the Irish production manager underwent intensive training in Bocholt, learning all about the processes so that they could be applied in exactly the same way in the Wexford factory. For the purposes of quality assurance and inspection, the production manager from Bocholt then visited Ireland to check that all processes were indeed being implemented in an identical manner. 

Final testing (west-test) of all power supply units is carried out using state-of-the-art test computers.
Final testing (west-test) of all power supply units is carried out using state-of-the-art test computers.
In the final inspection step before dispatch, all power supply units are subjected to an endurance test (run-in test) lasting several hours (image left).
In the final inspection step before dispatch, all power supply units are subjected to an endurance test (run-in test) lasting several hours (image left).

Secure and efficient logistics

There was particular scope to identify existing potential and optimise processes in the field of logistics. For example, production at BENNING is to be linked into the VMI (Vendor Management Inventory) principle. This is a supplier-managed warehouse, in which BENNING is responsible for ensuring that the current stock is always in line with specifications set out by Dräger.

This enables the necessary production capacity to be organised in an efficient manner, where Dräger provides access to a special supplier platform, which delivers up-to-date forecasts on expected product demand. In addition to ensuring maximum delivery availability, sustainable solutions were developed for external and internal logistics processes. For instance, a modular ESD (electro-static discharge) plastic returnable packaging system has been developed, designed precisely for secure and efficient external and internal transport of power supply units.

The smallest unit is a specially moulded inlay, which holds three power supply units. Thanks to the ergonomic arrangement, these units can be gripped quickly and securely removed for installation. Specially moulded foam cushions with an exceptional degree of hardness have also been integrated into the packaging unit, to reduce the impact of knocks during transport. The verification process was carried out on vibrating tables in BENNING's, in-house, environmental laboratory. Each power supply unit is additionally equipped with a Fairchild bag to prevent moisture from getting in (e.g. during transport). There are two inlays in a packaging unit, designed especially for the internal production and transport systems used at Dräger.

The total weight of the container, complete with six power supply units, is just 15 kg. This means it can easily be lifted and carried by one person. The dimensions of the box are optimised for use with pallets. A total of 192 power supply units can be placed on a Euro-pallet, also made of ESD plastic – split into four levels, each with eight boxes. The base of one box forms the lid of the box below to make optimum use of pallet height, which is restricted by the size of shelving units.

This reusable packaging system simply calls for a separate lid on the very top. By avoiding the use of wood or cardboard, significantly less dirt and dust is released – a highly beneficial factor in the production process.

Bottom line: reliable and sustainable

The new system removes the need for additional goods handling as the individual packaging units can now be integrated into production logistics directly from the pallet. After that, they go back to BENNING’s factories in Bocholt and Wexford, where they are stocked with power supply units once again.

Each inlay can hold three power supply units. To prevent penetration of moisture during transport, all power supply units are additionally equipped with a Fairchild bag.
Each inlay can hold three power supply units. To prevent penetration of moisture during transport, all power supply units are additionally equipped with a Fairchild bag.

The production solution implemented at the two sites has made it possible to maximise delivery availability. The new multiple-use principle has led to more economical logistics processes, with significant savings on packaging materials such as wood and cardboard, which have made an important contribution towards dealing responsibly with our natural resources.

Further Information

author/contact: Dirk Petrich
telephone: +49 2871 93 401
e-mail: d.petrich@benning.de

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