Work in progess

BADU pump production

SPECK Pumpen has been manufacturing plastic swimming pool pumps since 1968. During the last 40 years this production has undergone permanent change. Steadily rising sales figures, new developments or revised pump types and, most recently, the use of energy efficient motors made constant adjustments necessary. In the recent past, completely new factors have been added: a significant change in market behavior, the increasing desire for individualisation and, of course, the expectation of price stability. Amidst this phase of radical change, the BADU pump production is also in the middle of a generation change. 

When the long-serving head of department retired two years ago, a gradual change began. Günther Baumer, the former deputy, took over responsibility for the department on a temporary basis. Since the conversion of the merchandise management programme had a major impact on business processes and thus also restructured areas of responsibility, Christian Penkwitz was placed directly alongside him. From October 2018 Christian Penkwitz took over the responsibility and is growing further with the support of Günther Baumer.

“We didn‘t want to carry on as we were - and we couldn‘t have,“ says the new head of department. The requirements have changed rapidly so it was the right moment for a generation change and the right moment to divide the responsibility. In order to meet increasing demands and challenges in the future, the work preparation team in the BADU pump production relies on four areas: production planning, led by Christian Penkwitz; quality assurance, led by Günther Baumer with his successor Claudius Szilagyi; lean manufacturing, led by Ömer Karabasoglu; and REFA time studies.

The new management team established itself quickly, partly due to the conversion of the merchandise management programme, and has created mutual and resilient substitute solutions. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to do. Over the next five years, some of the department‘s long-standing employees will be retiring and new colleagues will have to be trained extensively in the meantime. Almost 30 technicians aged between 21 and 62 years are currently employed in the BADU pump production. They work flexible hours on 14 production lines to produce up to 11,000 pumps per month and the figures are constantly rising.

The technicians assemble 2,800 different pump designs. Standard pumps are still in stock. However, both just-in-time production and customer-specific individual production are continuing to rise proportionately. In the last years, five production lines have been built in lean manufacturing. The remaining nine will be converted gradually. This process for the efficient design of the value-added chain enables the department to react flexibly and unproblematically to special requests. The aim is for every technician in every line to be able to produce every pump independently.

Production planning is carried out in cooperation with lean manufacturing. The rough weekly plan is divided into detailed daily plans. In the morning, each technician learns which line he will be working on and which BADU pumps he will be manufacturing. In some lines, a single pump type is manufactured all day long, while in the next line, 30 pump types may be manufactured individually.

As soon as the order is logged into the line, a logistics specialist delivers the necessary components in sufficient quantity to the production location. In one-piece flow production, an employee accompanies the pump from the very beginning, goes through the 100 % inspection with it and hands over a completely packaged pump to the logistics department. The assignment of individual employees to specific work steps is thus a thing of the past. The merchandise management system now shows all employees involved throughout the company that the pump is ready for delivery.

With REFA time studies, documented production times reveal the potential for optimisation. The optimisation process itself takes place in a team. The adaptation possibilities are discussed mutually and then implemented accordingly. Many incentives come directly from the technicians. They see this as a real opportunity to help shape their own workplace in a positive way.

The main task of the quality assurance team is the inspection of all incoming components for the BADU pumps. However, they also maintain all production-relevant components - such as tools and test benches - so that the usual SPECK quality of the pumps is guaranteed. In case of any adjustments or changes in the production, however, it is also their job to inspect the product. If discrepancies occur, the team will work closely with the developers and designers to find the problem.

Thus, the BADU pump production will continue to reliably meet the requirements of our customers with regard to flexibility, delivery times and quantities. And one thing will not change in the future - both the young and the old agree - the BADU quality will always be measured against the highest standards!

Take a look behind the scenes. This video shows how a BADU Delta Eco VS is built.

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