Schaerer expands Zuchwil production facility

Spurred on by the increasing worldwide demand for professional coffee solutions, Schaerer has announced an extensive, multi-level expansion of its production facilities in Zuchwil, Switzerland.

In addition to traditional markets in Switzerland and Europe, the Swiss coffee machine manufacturer has seen an increased global demand, particularly in the United States and Asia.

In 2018, Schaerer says large orders from well-known chains resulted in a double-digit order increase in comparison to the previous year.

“We will continue this success story in 2019 and far exceed the sales figures of the last years thanks to the excellent order situation”, says Jörg Schwartze, CEO of Schaerer.

The first step of the Zuchwil expansion made it possible to manufacture 25 per cent more machines. The completion of the next phase will more than double the number of machines – meaning 100 per cent more machines than in 2018 – the factory can produce.

In addition to the future-proof production, Schaerer says a higher level of quality assurance, flexibility for the execution of customised solutions, and an improved working environment are its focus. Improved integration of its suppliers is also an important basis for increased flexibility.

From 30 to 100 coffee machines per day on the line
Schaerer says many measures have been taken to increase production capacity and make production as flexible and easily scalable as possible.

For respective orders, the production process is now based on an 11-step system with continuous flow processes to make cycling and material flow more efficient. This work process makes it possible for the individual employees to produce a much higher number of machines per day.

In order to handle a large US order of Schaerer Coffee Art Plus coffee machines with similar configurations in the lower five-digit range in 2019, an assembly line was created which contained all process steps from the frame to packaging.

“On the new line, we can therefore produce more than 100 machines per workday. It used to be 30 or 35,” Schwartze says.

He adds that the measures also have many advantages from a quality management perspective. During the reorganisation, quality assurance in the lines was supported by defined quality experts in the respective production lines. The consequences are higher transparency and clear and stable processes which enable error detection. In addition, each machine is put into operation and tested on-site.

More efficient customised production
With the motto “professionalisation of flexibility”, Schaerer says it’s dedicated to offering the customer the most individualised solutions possible while still producing at a high level of quality and performance.

“We aspire to not only support our customers with our coffee expertise and technology, but also to offer them ‘the’ solution for their respective business model. Individualisation and holistic concepts are therefore gaining in importance. Thanks to the new system, we can react even quicker and, above all, produce greater individualised quantities in a more efficient manner,” Schwartze says.

Valuable input from the employees
Schaerer says its employees were involved in the expansion from the very beginning. The consultation led to an assembly line in which 42 workstations work in sync – directly in time or connected by a Kanban cycle.

In brief daily meetings, short-term goals and challenges were also discussed and tackled.

“The aim was to reconcile the required increase in productivity with improved working conditions when it comes to ergonomics and safety and thereby to achieve a ‘win-win’ situation for both sides,” Schwartze says.

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