The digitization success story of STIHL Tirol GmbH.
There is an immense variety of products in production at STIHL Tirol. From smaller garden tools such as hedge trimmers to large ride-on mowers, a wide range of products are manufactured at the company.
Over the last few years, paper checklists and digital cameras have largely been removed from the production site in Tyrol. Now, work is done primarily with iPads. This allows for photos and data-matrix-codes to be captured directly with the devices and fed straight into the checks.
About the STIHL Tirol GmbH
STIHL Tirol is a manufacturer of garden tools in the metal sector. Battery-powered products such as lawn mowers, robotic mowers, ride-on mowers, motor hoes or garden shredders are produced at their site in Langkampfen. With 770 employees, the company achieved a turnover of 715.8 million euros in 2021.
- Customer Stihl Tirol GmbH
- Date October, 2022
- WEBSITE https://www.stihl-tirol.at/
Step by step Testify was implemented
and rolled out in the company.
STIHL Tirol started by digitizing and processing the “paper checklists” of the production flow test using the Testify checklist tool.
The first use case “productio flow test” was evaluated with the flow testers in a test phase for three months. After the software proved itself, the use of Testify was expanded at STIHL Tirol. The next step was to digitally map and display the production line release lists.
In the meantime, more than 2 million checks have already been carried out with Testify. After Testify has proven itself so well at the site in Tyrol, the software is now also being used at STIHL China for performance measurements.
Initial situation prior to the digitization.
- No standardized work method: There was no predefined standard for the audits. Some employees documented the audits in Excel and others in Word, etc.
- Media disruptions: Since digital cameras were used, the photos were not directly linked to the tests. Inspecting them afterwards was associated with a major search effort.
- No transparent assurance of reviews: With non-standardized, paper-based reviews, it is difficult to determine whether the reviews have been completed.
- Potential for assembly errors: Without digital manufacturing instructions, there was a risk that parts would be assembled incorrectly. This would lead to higher scrap or rework costs.
How STIHL Tirol solved this using Testify.
- Structured working method with digital checklists: Before the introduction of Testify, checks had to be carried out manually. Now, thanks to digital checklists, there are simpler and more precise control options.
- Enter photos directly in the context: Inspections are documented via tablet and photos can be stored directly in the relevant context (e.g. in the default report). In addition, codes can be scanned easily.
- More transparency: Due to the use of the cloud-based software, data can be viewed directly at the touch of a button, anytime and anywhere.
- Digital instructions: Digital manufacturing and inspection instructions are now available on the assembly line. With the help of Testify, pre-workers can now simply scan a code and see how the part looks when hung correctly..
Testify as a digital companion on the assembly line.
Testify is used for testing directly along the assembly line. Starting with line approvals by the preworkers, the process continues to the line inspectors. They use Testify to work through their checklists.
With the new structured way of working, it is possible to ensure that the correct work papers are recorded at the assembly line.
- When the assembly line is changed, the production department creates the assembly line approval and simultaneously uses a data matrix code to check whether the correct production documents are available at the stations.
- During spot checks at the assembly line, the production control also works through its digital checklists step by step.
- The final testing of the finished devices before they are delivered to the customer is again documented in Testify.
- Gradually, Testify is also being used for other tasks. For example, torque and dimensional tests with engagement thresholds and tolerance limits.
Digital default management
If a defect occurs, it is recorded directly in Testify and a default report is created. After the problem has been recorded, it is immediately forwarded to the responsible parties..
By forwarding default reports to the relevant departments, the flow of information is being improved and the cooperation between production and quality assurance is being enhanced.
Regular dummy tests
Other checks that take place continuously are the so-called "dummy tests". In this process, the test stations are checked by sending dummies (Note: This is what faulty equipment is called at STIHL Tyrol.) into the test station to see if all faults are detected.
The dummy tests are recurring inspections that have to be carried out by the production staff at different intervals - some daily, others weekly.
Since the dummy tests are being processed and recorded in Testify, it has become much easier to track whether all tests have been conducted. The management can also view the execution status at any time.
Cleanliness inspections are also executed with Testify. Quality management uses Testify for 5S audits in manufacturing as well as in the administrative area.
Before using Testify, the 5S audits were performed using an Excel template. The checks are now mapped in Testify. The advantages are not only evident in the simpler handling, but also in the fact that the audits can now be evaluated much faster.
Better communication and collaboration between departments.
Data captured in a structured manner via tablets in Testify is used for various daily, weekly and monthly reports. The monthly reports and evaluations for the management can also be evaluated very quickly via reporting dashboards..
With just a few clicks, you can see how many defaults there were, what the main causes were, whether 5S audits were carried out correctly, and much more. The screw and dimensional data are also evaluated via the “Statistical Result Analysis”. At shopfloor meetings, the reports, evaluations/key figures or anomalies are addressed, if necessary.