Spain is supporting the Odette programme set in train by European motor manufacturers to promote the use of new technology and work methods in the production line in order to compete with the particularly efficient industries in Japan and the US. The project was presented by the Spanish Ministry of Industry at the end of […]
Spain is supporting the Odette programme set in train by European motor manufacturers to promote the use of new technology and work methods in the production line in order to compete with the particularly efficient industries in Japan and the US. The project was presented by the Spanish Ministry of Industry at the end of last month, and, in Spain involves car manufacturers within the Association of Spanish Car & Lorry Manufacturers and a large number of suppliers working in collaboration with Telefonica de Espana SA, Entel SA, the Spanish computer company APD, IBM Espana, and Madrid Industrial Engineers. In 1986, however, the Ministry signed an agreement with the Association of Spanish Car & Lorry Manufacturers, Senauto, Telefonica, and later IBM for the development of a pilot system for communications between supplier and manufacturers’ computers. The agreement was supported by Spain’s National Electronic and Computer Project. All the hardware and software for the electronic data interchange system were designed by Entel. The theme running through the just-in-time-inspired Odette is that of the six nils: nil wastage, nil defects, nil stocks, nil paper, nil delay, and nil breakdown. The project started with the integration of electronic data transmission between manufacturer and suppliers’ computers, enabling a reduction in the stocks held by motor manufacturers, since sub-contractors are required to deliver parts to the plant only a few hours before they are needed. It will also enable companies to dispense with paper support in related administrative tasks which at present accounts for 30% of the production cost, as each of the 33m cars produced in Europe every year requires 300 to 400 documents costing 12.5 cents each. Finally, it hopes to achieve standard transport formalities in bar codes, standardisation of reusable containers, electronic exchange of engineering plans and data and speeding up of customs formalities. The project also recognises the importance of co ordination within the sector. For the Spanish Ministry of Industry this idea of incorporating new technology in production processes, not simply in the course of modernisation but as an effort to improve the nation’s competitiveness, is just an example of what it would like to accomplish in other sectors of manufacturing and services.