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The Flexibles Factory is one of six plants at General Cable NZ Ltd’s site in Christchurch. They primarily produce automotive cable for export to a single major customer. Other products that contribute significant volumes include Heavy automotive, Supervisory, Appliance and 2-Core/Flexible cables. The factory is currently organised into functional groups known as Work Centres with staff specialising in one type of machine and/or process. The majority of production passes through four processes, namely ‘Wire Drawing’, ‘Bunching’, ‘High-Speed Extrusion’ and ‘Coiling’, in a linear manner.
The project evolved from an initial one, which consisted of the scheduling and assignment of products to particular machines, into the provision of a simulation tool to assist with revising the factory layout and improving the performance of the Factory. We visited the site regularly, in order to familiarise ourselves with the products and processes that make up the Flexibles Factory and to liase with the client. Our main contact with the client has been through Cameron McOmish (Flexibles Factory Production Manager) and Mark Cantwell (Production Co-ordinator), who have been very helpful and supportive.