Kawasaki

Kawasaki Streamlines Data Transfer with SmarTeam Multi-site Installation

About

Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation, the first foreign vehicle manufacturer to open a production plant in the U. S., develops and builds general purpose engines in Maryville, Missouri and manufactures rail cars in its Lincoln, Nebraska plant. Research and development has now been moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kawasaki relies on a number of IT systems to support its “just-in-time” operation. They use SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk, and CATIA for their CAD-related needs and a number of legacy systems for documentation management and other operational requirements.

Key Challenges

They use SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk, and CATIA for their CAD-related needs and a number of legacy systems for documentation management and other operational requirements.

The company’s R&D team was located alongside manufacturing in Maryville, but the group was going to be moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. This created the challenge of maintaining close communication between the teams when they were no longer in the same facility. R&D would still need the data from the production site and it was important for production to have access to R&D data to implement changes on the production line.

Solution

Kawasaki streamlined data transfer with SmarTeam multi-site installation.

Benefits

The transition has been a resounding success. It now takes two minutes for data replication between Maryville and Grand Rapids. Before the multisite implementation, data transfer was coming through a global company tunnel using local resources that dramatically slowed the systems in both locations. The system is now ten times faster using multi-site vs. single site installations, according to Rash. The engineering change order (ECO) process has been streamlined with alerts to keep the approval process moving. The three-month ECO process has been accelerated to 7-10 days. Audit trails now contain day and time stamps and SmarTeam handles and automates the process while meeting ISO, ANSI, and ASME standards.

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