New competence center at the Michelau plant is a one-stop shop: future production, coating and sequencing from a single-source – the customer saves on time, cost and logistics overhead.
Logistics optimization for BMW
Automobile industry customers are increasingly on the lookout for production, coating and sequencing from a single-source. This streamlines the logistics process, lowers inventory costs and makes fabrication processes more efficient. Scherer & Trier recognized this trend and has put a new sequencing hall into operation for its customer BMW.

"Sequencing is the topic of the future", commented Thomas Schmidt, Project Manager at Scherer & Trier, as he spoke about the new showcase project (STart reported in issue 10). "Our competitive stance increasingly depends on time and cost efficiency." Two aspects which can be optimized by sequencing. The starting signal came in September of 2008. For customer BMW, the sequencing of Scherer & Trier products was implemented for rocker panels of six vehicle types in twelve coating finishes. The scope of sequencing was initially implemented for model series 7 rocker panels in one standard and one long version. Following online call-up from BMW's Dingolfing plant, the parts are fabricated, painted in the in-house coating facility then moved from there directly to the sequencing hall. The unique aspect: All of these procedures are performed in Michelau. And, since the coating facility is connected to the newly erected sequencing hall, transport paths are shortened, cost and time factors are kept at a minimum.

Flawless planning from A to Z
BMW provides current production plans with a lead-time range of three to five days to the team around Scherer & Trier Logistics Manager Norbert Grossmann.
  Call-up parts must then be marshaled in correct sequence (by part type) and packed into special OEM containers. A substantial logistics overhead is necessary to ensure that every part, in the right length and desired color, is placed in the prescribed order. The parts with various combinations of color and model series type are organized in correct sequence for 320 vehicles (later on 1,550 vehicles) daily according to BMW's production plans. Special software and trained employees ensure flawless operation. "Precision and speed are decisive for sequencing", Grossmann points out. "Just one mistake and the chain of events comes to a standstill!" Nevertheless, precautions have been taken for emergency situations. An emergency supply of parts and a five hour delivery lead-time assure low-time sequencing even if there is transport damage on the road to the customer.

Promising new territory
The SOP in September was new territory for Scherer & Trier. "With this 3,000m2 hall we have established a new competence center. This local sequencing was prerequisite for the order", commented Regional Sales Manager Reinhard Elsner. "We were able to take advantage of experience gained with sequenced order handling in Sweden and link that to our core expertise in coating. The results convinced the customer." The successful maturing experience for the model 7 series is now paying off several times over: BMW has since also awarded sequencing contracts to Scherer & Trier for production and sequencing of rocker panels for the model 5 series, the model 6 convertible and coupé, as well as for the new BMW GT.


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