Meyer Turku’s production capacity takes a leap forward with modern BI tools    

The increasing volume of ship orders has forced the Finnish shipbuilding company Meyer Turku Ltd to rethink their entire production chain. With the newly implemented Work Release Control (WRC) tool, Meyer Turku estimates to be able to cut their manufacturing cycle time by 50%.

Previously, the company was using a shipyard scheduling system together with traditional Excel reporting for planning and monitoring the production.  In the end of 2016, as Meyer Turku hit a new order record, it became clear that the manufacturing processes needed to be rethought to maximize the production capacity. “As the demand increases, both the production and the supporting IT-systems must be continuously developed to reflect that. In the long term, we will make large-scale investments in new production hardware and manufacturing execution system, but some of the challenges required immediate action," explains Sakari Lähdetie from Meyer Turku.

Both management and employees needed more efficient business intelligence tools to make use of the available but scattered data for planning and monitoring purposes of the end-to-end hull production chain.  "We believe that replacing the traditional approach with rock-solid BI expertise will boost our productivity significantly across all operations."

Accurate data enables fact-based decisions

After first identifying and prioritising the most business-critical parts of the production chain which would set the foundation for all other hull operations, Meyer Turku is now in the process of transferring those to Work-In-Progress-regulated production together with the leading analytics company BIGDATAPUMP Ltd. The implemented solution utilises Microsoft Azure platform with Power BI dashboard for selected KPIs. Automated, near real-time data flows by week, day or hour on WIP, outputs and cycle times are brought to info screens in a dynamic and visually appealing format to assist the data users with factual and timely decision-making instead of rough estimations. The reporting views have been customised for different user groups based on their respective analysis needs.

Targets will be met sooner than expected

Improved visibility into the manufacturing process sheds light on the potentially problematic production phases and thus helps the management and employees to both prioritise tasks and to direct resources accurately. 

The BI-solution implementation is ongoing, and the target is to cover the majority of part manufacturing and sub-assembly volumes by the end of Q2 2017. After that, the solution will be implemented in all remaining production phases with specific interest in predictive analytics and machine learning. So far, the implementation results have been promising and have already exceeded several expectations. 

According to Jussi Pihala, the solution has significantly improved how hull manufacturing is controlled daily: With production capacity optimized and tasks and material targets prioritized, each manufacturing phase can now be carried out as productively and efficiently as possible. "We were looking for a clever and agile analytics and digital transformation expert, someone who could show us how BI at its best could be done and to co-create with us, and we got exactly what we wanted. We’ve attained a whole new sense of awareness of what having a good visibility into the production and understanding how it performs really means. We’ve found a new cornerstone for our future operations," he concludes.

Meyer Turku Oy employs 1,600 persons and specializes in building highly complex, innovative and environmentally friendly cruise ships, car-passenger ferries and special vessels. Together with two sister shipyards in Germany, Meyer Werft in Papenburg and Neptun Werft in Rostock, Meyer Turku is one of the world’s leading cruise ship builders. The successful shipbuilding tradition in Turku has been continuing since 1737. The company  is currently building cruise ships for TUI Cruises. The company will also build two cruise ships for Costa Crociere, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean International.