The automotive sector has always faced challenges and changes due to the rapid technologies evolution with strong implications in the perception of the value and cost of products throughout the supply chain.
In order to face this ever-changing scenario, in the last few years Streparava has equipped itself with a system able to identify all the technical, technological and logistic opportunities useful for proposing Technical Cost Reduction initiatives to its customers. This system is supported by a company department specifically set up, which makes use of all the internal R&D skills, Prototyping and Testing, Process Engineering, Logistics and Supply Chain capabilities, as well as external relations with companies and institutes that deal with technical and technological innovation.
TCR means the “reduction of the total cost in relation to design, process, supply and logistics changes that involve a product modification as defined by drawings, by technical standards and by specific supply conditions without any reduction in technical, performance and qualitative value. Such changes may involve an in-depth approval and validation process for the customer”.
Streparava’s Technical Cost Reduction System is:
– Strategic, because it is based on the company’s partnership strategies with its customers
– Systemic, since it reaches all customers, products and plants
– Structured with a management and operational team oriented and focused on the objectives, always managed and monitored with specific KPI/KAI
– Recognized, as it has the resources necessary for the activities to be carried out and includes all business functions, as well as customers and suppliers.
It also works with time-controlled logic and can take the opportunities for technological development by operating with lean methodology. It is configured to understand customers’ needs with the aim of bringing incremental improvement and problem-solving proposals, through structured problem-solving techniques. The search for new technical and technological solutions makes Streparava’s Technical Cost Reduction system a reality with consolidating know-how to the benefit of customers and suppliers.
Based on periodically reviewed company strategies and customer input, Streparava identifies products and technological areas on which to develop structured Technical Cost Reduction projects. These projects are assigned dedicated work teams that manage them with lean tools and methods such as: A3 project with reason to act and expected objectives, Project Review System, Action Plan and KPI / KAI set.
The analysis and development process of a TCR project follows these steps:
– Identification of all technical, technological and cost data of a product or a family of products
– Curve stratification ABC / Pareto of costs for materials, transformations and logistics
– Identification of cost drivers, a clear understanding of their extent and potential development including economies of scale
– Application of Value Engineering Method Hierarchy and search for redesign opportunities
– Evaluation of the cost reduction of single components or their possible replacement with parts in smaller and/or higher numbers, but with a reduced total cost
– Research for potential resourcing and/or outsourcing
– Evaluation of the opportunity to change function and characteristics of components, always in order to increase the value perceived by customer in terms of lower total cost and increased technical content (for example opportunity to lightening)
The steps described above are based on well-established technical and management databases, but also on field experiences such as workshops, customer line ups and the use of a Brainstorming Checklist contained in our Technical Cost Reduction Proposal Sheet, which is based on the concepts of the TRIZ technique and of Osborn and SCAMPERR lists.
The collection of cost reduction proposals is followed by their technical and economic feasibility assessment, up to the business case configuration to be proposed to the customer, who will then be able to decide whether to proceed with the operational development of the initiative through prototyping, testing and validation until the production change. Streparava can support customers in all the phases described above with in-depth R&D skills, prototyping/testing, industrialization projects management and dedicated sourcing.
Some of the TCRs proposed by Streparava concerned the components redesign in order to reduce weight, through the exploitation of diversified technologies and materials, as well as simplification and function changes of powertrain systems components, up to solutions completely designed from scratch within the company.
The Technical Cost Reduction activities developed to date and the results achieved confirm that Streparava is on the right path in providing customers with a high value-added service.
Streparava will continue to further develop its Technical Cost Reduction system, pursuing increasingly challenging objectives, also thanks to the integration with the activities of the Advanced Technology Development department that deals with the study and potential application of new enabling technologies, such as Additive Manufacturing, Laser Special Applications, Smart Manufacturing and Robotics, Hybrid Manufacturing Process and New Materials, in products and processes.
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With 6 facilities in the world, Streparava produces chassis and powertrain components with an high degree of precision, supplied to the major OEMs for motorcycles, automobiles, buses, industrial and commercial vehicles.