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FABA embraces integrated manufacturing with AIMS, reducing labour costs by 60%

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ANCA’s AIMS solution addresses the challenges of skilled labour shortage and rising overheads, enabling FABA to increase productivity through automation
FABA S.A., established in 1991, is a leading manufacturer of wood and metalworking tools made from carbide and PCD. Over the years, FABA has seen tremendous growth and is now a public listed company, comprising four business units located in Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia. With approximately 400 staff members, FABA supply their tools to 50 countries, predominantly in Europe.

One of the key factors contributing to FABA's success has been their dedication to innovation and progress. For more than 30 years, the company has continuously invested in modern machinery and infrastructure, allowing them to stay ahead in a competitive market. However, like many others in the manufacturing industry, they have faced challenges in recent years such as low profit margins, a shortage of skilled technical labour, and increasing overheads, including high energy costs.

According to Paweł Hondra, FABA CEO, the company had been considering an advanced automation solution for several years to address these challenges and improve efficiency – and the ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System (AIMS) concept was the answer to their expectations. The integration of machines in the AIMS system promised simplified manufacturing processes, stability, consistency, and ultimately, improved product quality.

Considering the shortage of skilled technical staff in Europe, also very noticeable in Poland, FABA estimated that the implementation of the AIMS system would not only reduce labour costs by approximately 60% but also increase productivity. This solution, an industry-first by ANCA, was crucial in lowering general overheads and addressing the skilled labour shortage simultaneously.

ANCA has leveraged its nearly 50 years of vertical integration and expertise to develop a groundbreaking solution that seamlessly integrates the manufacturing workflow. With the innovative AIMS system, manufacturers can start with a tool blank and receive a fully ground tool at the other end, all in a completely automated process. This allows factories to operate efficiently without human intervention, enhancing flexibility and maximising machine utilisation.

AIMS revolutionises the tool and cutter grinding process by integrating, connecting, and automating discrete manufacturing processes. By intelligently linking various grinding operations and factory IT systems, AIMS streamlines production and enables a smooth transition from traditional to automated and integrated manufacturing through its modular design.

One of the key benefits of AIMS for tool manufacturers is the ability to operate and respond to market demands without being constrained by labour shortages. By implementing automation solutions, manufacturers can optimise their machine uptime and operate unattended, enabling them to onshore and re-shore their manufacturing processes. AIMS reduces scrap, eliminates human errors, and enhances workplace safety, leading to improved productivity and increased competitiveness. It also effectively addresses rising overhead costs and energy expenses through an expected increase of machine-operator ratio by 100-150%.

“We have worked with ANCA since 2007, and they have been a trusted partner and software solutions provider for our organisation. Their consistent delivery of reliable products and services throughout our long-standing partnership has solidified ANCA as the ideal choice to implement the AIMS system," Mr Hondra said. “The AIMS project was conducted in a highly professional manner, with consultation and collaboration between ANCA and FABA to ensure that concerns are addressed and expectations are met.”

The installation of the full AIMS system is planned in a few months, marking the beginning of FABA’s transformative journey towards integrated manufacturing. Mr Hondra recognises that building such a complex system will take several years, but they are prepared to invest the time and effort required. They understand that this is not just a one-time solution but a long-term commitment to continuous improvement and growth.

FABA's collaboration with ANCA and the implementation of the AIMS system are testaments to their commitment to innovation and progress. By embracing automation and advanced manufacturing technologies, FABA is positioning itself to overcome the challenges of a competitive market, low profit margins, and skilled labour shortage. With the support of ANCA and the AIMS system, FABA looks forward to a future of increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved product quality.

10 July 2023