SAS Automotive s.r.o., Bratislava (SK)

Particular features:

  • Tailor-made and target-oriented production system
  • High understanding of leadership
  • Strong KPI-oriented management
  • System-integrated shop floor management
  • Highly flexible production lines
  • Smart, in-house developed LCA solutions
  • I 4.0 solutions in production
  • Integrated I 4.0

The jury's statement

The impact of a well thought-out lean roadmap on the plant and its facilities, production processes and, above all, the people who work in them, is impressively demonstrated in the SAS-JIS plant in Bratislava.

Driven by a direct logistical JIS connection to the VW main customer plant in the immediate vicinity, an almost unprecedented variance in the features of the modules produced, a directed parts rate of more than 90%  of the individual components, constant integration of new or changed scopes are just some of the challenges that need to be mastered continually.

Based on the realization that a production system can not be successful without a culture of improvement that is practised and demonstrated from the top, those responsible show in a convincing manner:

On the one hand, cooperation is characterized by clearly defined responsibilities and, on the other hand, by regular, creative coordination and optimization meetings.

The basis for this is a consistent, key-figure-driven way of thinking and acting according to the guiding principle that problems have to be tackled depending on their urgency or according to the Pareto principle. This is also an indication that the transparency is a central high-priority element of lean.

The example of the online or centrally supported shop floor management round with active access to all active Kaizen and key production figures shows this high level of transparency and ensures that you focus on the right thing.

The way in which this shop floor management is part of the management and qualification culture at the Bratislava SAS plant, it is a powerful tool that delivers what it promises in a well-prepared environment: To become excellent in terms of lean and leadership.

The aforementioned product complexity with its incredible number of component variants inevitably leads to corresponding unavoidable cycle spreads and thus highly volatile work contents; and this is reflected 1:1 in efficiency losses.

As Tier1 you cannot tackle this by defining appropriate restrictions or optimizations of the program sequence. It is important in this regard to make the most of these specifications. SAS demonstrates this in an impressive way: highly flexible equipment technology, an intelligent combination of human and machine use, partly in-house designed handling and logistics equipment, digital assembly instructions, a large number of in-house developed Poka Yoke solutions with intelligent use of digital elements and, last but not least, a far-reaching versatility as far as the employees are concerned enable a smooth, load-harmonized and space-optimized production.

These solutions just described once again that selecting the use of new digital possibilities is not about their fascination and what would be potentially possible with them per se, but about the question where digitization can continue to improve efficiency in production and, thus make the plant sustainably competitive.

The jury sees the SAS Bratislava plant as a forward-looking symbiosis of Lean and Industry 4.0, driven by a highly motivated and dedicated team.

The plant is therefore awarded the Automotive Lean Production Award 2019 in the "Supplier" category.

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