Buhler is a world leader in innovation and delivery of sorting solutions to the global food and non-food processing industries. They design, manufacture and supply optical sorting machines to over 100 countries throughout the world. The machines are used to detect and remove unwanted and blemished material from products such as rice, coffee, nuts, vegetables, etc. They are a low volume, high value, high technology assembly operation utilising modern manufacturing techniques.
Buhler builds its machines on a production line which operates to a Takt. More than 10 major product types and a range of options are built, tested, packed and dispatched in an integrated, single piece flow system.
Lean Techniques such as shadow boards for tools, the supply of materials using Kanbans, the grouping of material requirements into kits, and the involvement of staff in sustained and continuous improvement are employed.
Visual Management is used in the whole supply chain from product enquiry through to product ordering, manufacture and dispatch, providing all functional areas with a consistent information base. Visual management is also used to track progress against plan, and identify and action variances.
The major drive for Lean Manufacturing is the reduction in throughput times for the factory, where a 50% improvement has already been achieved. There is also an emphasis on high standards in 5S.
People and Leadership
Buhler has benefited from the introduction of a flat organisational structure, empowering its workforce, teamworking and greatly improved internal communications. More recently Buhler Sortex has begun rolling out competency-based job descriptions and performance appraisals. These changes, their objectives and what has been achieved will be shared with visitors.
Customer Relationship Management and Support
The pre-sales and after-sales performance of Buhler Sortex is delivered through its extensive global sales and service organisation that consists of skilled personnel, state-of-the-art systems (CRM software; remote machine monitoring technologies) and efficient business processes (market analysis, sales lead generation, sales quotation, corrective action processes and so on)