With more than 100 years experience, Sulzer Pump Solutions Ireland Ltd offers one of the most complete wastewater technology portfolios in the world. Divided into three business segments – domestic and commercial wastewater, wastewater collection networks and wastewater treatment – the company’s wastewater products have to compete in a global market. The efficient manufacture of these products is supported by Seiki Systems’ Networked Manufacturing System (NMS).
Sulzer Pump Solutions Ireland has been operating for 35 years at its facilities in Wexford, producing wastewater pumps for a global market. Approximately 250 people work at this site, with two thirds employed on the shopfloor. A large research and development facility was opened three years ago where next generation products are designed and tested prior to launch, and larger existing products are life tested to failure.
Equipped with an extensive array of CNC machine tools the company’s workshop operates around-the-clock. The CNC machines are arranged as 12 manufacturing cells, with most cells containing a lathe and machining centre, as well as component washing plant.
Operating a cellular system means that material flow is very efficient as all parts are completed within the cell. “For example,” says production support engineer, Sean Mahoney, “a main component like the cast iron motor housing is produced in a dedicated cell, while the oil chamber, which is also machined from cast iron, would be produced in another dedicated cell. This allows us to invest in the best machine tool technology to suit the part being produced.”
The cellular manufacturing method also allows one skilled operator to run all the machines within the cell to gain the maximum labour efficiency. Daily production meetings set the targets for the machine shop based on the global sales forecast by the company and works orders are issued to the cells.