Murata Speeds Up Its Sensor Production with the Delfoi Planner Solution

Murata Electronics (former VTI Technologies) is a global market leader in low-g (less than 10 g) sensors. Extremely high accuracy and small size are the advantages of the Muarata Electronics' sensors. The smallest of them are as tiny as the tip of a pen.

Murata Electronics has exacting customers. For example, the automotive industry production is based on high mass customization which poses major challenges to deliverers as well. Aided by the Delfoi Planner solution, VTI can effortlessly demonstrate its production prowess and its ability to meet rigorours delivery deadlines and quality requirements. Improved capacity planning renders it possible for VTI to exploit its production resources to the full extent.

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Picture. Production develoment manager Sami Solastie. Murata Electronics’s production takes place in a clean room environment. 

Capacity Management and Investment Calculations

Five years ago Murata Electronics experienced significant growth and needed a new solution for managing the growing products and product groups. Murata Electronics contacted Delfoi which provided the company with a suitable capacity management solution.

Initially, the software was used for the purposes of calculating monthly capacity and performing investment calculations. Subsequently, the Delfoi Planner software established itself as a quintessential part of budgeting and the biannual strategic planning rounds during which plans for the next five years are formulated. The data analysed by the system supports decision making; it for example helps decide whether to invest in additional capacity and new lines, or meet the capacity needs by rearranging shifts. Moreover, it is of great importance to Murata Electronics to be able to simulate new production lines and production plants with the software.

"The production consists of more than 200 process stages. In assembly, a change in product-mix has a rapid impact on the capacity needs. Monitoring work cycle times alone is not enough, because only one factor can be displayed at a time. The Delfoi software takes into consideration the need of different products to use the same machinery and equipment, even though they have different Run & Rate tables.  This renders it possible to maximize the utilization rate of the production capacity", Murata Electronics’s production develoment manager Sami Solastie states.

"Sales and production are planned for a continuous 12-month time span. In addition to controlling through capacity management in which country and on which production line sensors are being produced, different kinds of scenarios can be created and the impact of single products or product families on the overall production and capacity need can be studied. As for new products, product-specific investment calculations are perfomed. Questions such as these are best answered by Delfoi Planner", Sami Solastie continues. 

Prior to Delfoi Planner, the calculations were performed using Excel. One of the drawbacks of Excel is its unmanageability. The tables are being created in the course of years and they are not necessarily designed to meet the needs of the coming years. And when, for example, five years are represented in the form of an Excel table on a weekly basis, the mere physical size of the table is enormous. Another drawback of Excel is that whenever a change is made to the table, you cannot be sure what kind of an effect it will have on the values and formulas elsewhere in the table.

Besides insertion of time and ease of use, the Delfoi Planner solution offers many other advantages over Excel.

"In a rapidly growing company it is of great importance to produce certain kind of data. Delfoi Planner accustoms its users to uniform processes, and everyone knows what the calculations are based on. The reports provided by the system facilitate development processes greatly. Moreover, the capacity calculations performed using Delfoi are more reliable than those performed using Excel, because the data is uniform and comes from a single system", Sami Solastie compares.

It is recommended to carry out capacity calculations and production development processes in a centralized manner. Both Murata Electronics and its customers have only a few selected employees who manage and maintain production-related data. The calculations and data can be handled only by persons who have a profound understanding of the logic behind it.

Expert Services and support

Delfoi has been a very good partner, and our cooperation has been highly flexible. Support has always been available when it has been needed. The expertise of Delfoi was a great help in defining the project and in pinning down the requirements.

The Delfoi Planner software has been updated regularly. During the latest update session, the usability of the reporting tools was developed.

"It has been relatively easy to learn to use the Delfoi system. For the time being, the data is inserted into the system manually, which requires attention. But if there is something dubious about a report, double-checking the data is easy. Clear rules about what and how to do facilitate both the use of the software and the interpretation of the results", Sami Solastie states.

"It would be difficult to manage the rapidly changing world and product-mix without Delfoi", Sami Solastie continues.

In the future, Delfoi Planner will be integrated into other production information management systems, which enables automatic data transfer when needed, brings greater accuracy, and allows real-time monitoring.

Delfoi Planner – Effects and Advantages

  • Effective capacity calculations enable maximization of the utilization rate of production

  • Possibility to create individual scenarios and cases in addition to continuous calculation

  • Enables prediction of the impact of new products on the production as a whole

  • The system provides detailed data to support investment calculations

  • The calculations are always performed in the same way, which enables rapid data processing and comparison, and therefore facilitates decision-making

  • The rapidly changing world becomes more easily manageble.

  • It is easier to demonstrate your company’s prowess to your customers

Murata Electronics Delivers Sensors to Exacting Customers  

Murata Electronics is the world’s largest manufacturer that concentrates solely on MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) sensors and whose success is based on the unique 3D MEMS technology.  VTI produces 25 million sensors annually. 

Sensors are used in automotive industry, consumer electronics, instruments, and medical applications. An example of this highly advanced technology is an artificial cardiac pacemaker, the sensor which measures also the bodily movements of a person: when running, the pacemaker will speed up the heart rate. Another example is an altimeter/accelerometer, which can be installed in a navigator, and which makes the navigator work also in a tunnel in the absence of a satellite connection.

More information: Murata Electronics

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