SAGE joins with German engineering firm to tap into local manufacturing sector

A local industrial automation and control systems integration company has joined forces with a German engineering firm to help make Australian manufacturers more globally competitive.

A local industrial automation and control systems integration company has joined forces with a German engineering firm to help make Australian manufacturers more globally competitive.

SAGE and Project Engineering have formed Prozess – a joint venture to generate “bankable process improvements” for manufacturers across industry sectors.

Prozess Joint Managing Director Garry Williams said the company met a market need for a more forensic approach to manufacturing process optimisation.

"The market is already flooded with so-called solution providers," Williams said. "Providing a solution to a client brief is just one part of the puzzle. To truly add value to a business you must first identify the core problem. In many cases it’s the problem that the client is unaware of that is really restricting their growth or competitiveness."

Before its official market launch this month, Prozess has already worked alongside some of the nation’s best known companies across mining, building materials, food & beverage, agriculture processing and automotive. They include Adelaide Brighton Cement, SMR, Drake Foodmarkets, Golden North, Balco and SPC.

Prozess Joint Managing Director Eduard Schroeder said the firm was already generating returns of investment for manufacturers measured in months not years. “In the current business climate manufacturers are chasing productivity improvements like never before,” Schroeder said.

“Remaining globally competitive requires a sharper focus on efficiency and effectiveness – not just on the production line but across the whole business. Reducing product and time wastage, improving product quality and increasing process efficiency and safety are critical to delivering return on investment and cost saving well above market benchmarks.”

Prozess has delivered returns on investment as early as seven months’ payback. “It comes down to continually asking why and thinking beyond the conveyor belt to the ultimate marketplace of the manufacturer. The key is to deliver bankable process improvement in line with the current market and in a sustainable way,” he said.

As part of the joint venture, Prozess has developed a network of collaboration partners with experience and expertise across all areas of manufacturing. “We bring a global approach to the table uniting German quality and precision with Australian entrepreneurial spirit and experience while our approach is based on the proven Japanese methodology of lean manufacturing,” Williams said.

The Prozess approach with manufacturers involves the following stages:

  • 1. Identify – Uncover direct influences to production wastage by analysis of conveyance, motion, waiting, unnecessary actions, inventory and overproduction as well as indirect influences to the production process.
  • 2. Scope – Identify and develop innovative and cost saving solutions.
  • 3. Do – Execute strategy.
  • 4. Bed down – Follow-up analysis to ensure process is integrated and generating the expected results.

Prozess highlights some of its success stories. Icecream manufacturer Golden North was considering capital expenditure to increase production capabilities and efficiencies. By carrying out analysis of the entire value chain, Prozess identified ways to better utilize the company’s available capacity by improving stock turnaround and reducing additional capex costs.

Prozess recently worked with manufacturer SMR to assist in the concept and planning for a new clean room for automotive and medical products. Prozess carried out detailed analysis covering output, machinery, staffing and hygiene requirements to enable optimal integration within the existing production process.

For building materials company Adelaide Brighton Cement, Prozess undertook detailed analysis of its drymix production process that involves multiple raw materials, mixing and packaging. Equipment reviewed and major cost drivers investigated with a range of process and system improvements identified.

Prozess assisted a leading mining services company through analysis of current operations and identification of improvements with its equipment as well as process design.