Bus bodywork assembled efficiently using finished components
One of Stalatube’s further processing line’s largest customers is bus manufacturer SOE (Scania Omniexpress) Busproduction Finland Oy. Stalatube’s line produces up to one and a half tonnes of tube, laser cut and bent according to need, usually between 350 and 400 separate parts a day. This delivery speed enables SOE Finland Oy to manufacture one bus a day.
“We send the files to Stalatube and in the return post we receive ready-packaged sets in carts, from which our welders position them in the welding jigs and weld them into modules for the bodywork,” explains Harri Kankaanpää, Head of Development for SOE Finland.
He is extremely happy with the co-operation which began a year and a half ago.
“This arrangement has enabled us to decrease our inventory and speed up our lead times significantly,” he says.
As deliveries arrive on a project-specific basis, there is no need for reserve inventories. The parts have been sorted in advance, saving the welders’ time, because they no longer need to separately collect the parts. When a customer’s needs are clear in advance, the use of the materials, such as the length of a tube, can be optimised, therefore minimising the amount of scrap material created.
“This really is a win-win solution,” Kankaanpää says. “We used to order six-metre-long bars and paid subcontractors to machine the tubes. It was significantly slower, more expensive and more difficult to control.”
However, through joint planning with Stalatube the process became much more practical.
“When we began ordering tube from Stalatube, we let them know where we wanted to take our operations and Stalatube was ready to take on the challenge from day one,” Kankaanpää recalls.
In future, the companies plan on increasing their co-operation. A new welding robot sits in Stalatube’s facility, waiting to start work on parts for SOE Finland.