Ricoh UK Products Ltd: An Agility case study

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Agility helps Ricoh to work efficiently and effectively

Over nine years and four sites, Agility has helped Ricoh UK Products Ltd to increase understanding of their business, simplify processes and reduce labour costs.

Ricoh UK Products Ltd (RPL) was established in 1983 as the first European production subsidiary of Ricoh Company, Japan. RPL now has four sites (3 in the UK and 1 in The Netherlands) and employs over 800 people, operating year-round up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Production began at its Telford site in 1985 starting with photocopier drums and today the product range includes multifunctional and production printers, as well as industrial products and associated supplies. They also offer additional products and services such as Ink Jet heads for industrial applications and 3D engineering solutions, with Customer Experience and European Media Qualification Centres.

The business need

RPL had used CMMS systems for almost 20 years but needed a browser-based application to continue future development. The business went live with Agility in 2009, with targets to reduce indirect labour, increase user numbers, simplify processes, and increase visualisation and reporting across the organisation.

The benefits of using Agility

Following implementation, RPL were able to reduce around 2,000 hours of indirect labour per year from maintenance processes, a key contributing factor to this has been the Maintenance Engineers now accessing Agility using laptops. They have also transferred all reactive maintenance work order operations over to paperless systems and introduced knowledge capture and
visualisation systems.

Over 1,200 reactive and 2,000 planned work orders per month are generated in Agility to support the four sites. Agility is also used to control all non-production inventory items (around 9,000 lines with 40,000+ movements per year), giving fully automated stock control and monitoring which also generates orders for replenishment.

Agility runs at the Telford site and multi-site licensing is used concurrently across all 4 sites in Europe. Each site has its own detailed visual asset structure, with details attached against site, building, area, and asset. This function has allowed RPL to demonstrate full linkage between planned activities and compliance reporting, which consistently satisfies audit teams. The ability to interrogate an asset, check the planned work, the history of completed tasks with times and details, and view attached service reports or compliance certificates is fundamental to RPL compliance in many areas such as LOLER, L8 Legionella, F-Gas, Emergency Lighting, and Fire Safety Systems.

From 2014, RPL has extended its offering by creating ‘Customer Experience Centres’ for 3D and industrial printing, as well as embarking on a massive expansion of its core toner filling business. Calls come into a central work order centre, which Maintenance Engineers access directly using their laptops. This has improved maintenance response times by approximately 53% in 5 years.

At the start of 2016, strategic focus was given to improving OEE across all filling and assembly lines. Multidiscipline project teams used Agility to add and complete improvement activities on all assets.

As part of the strategy, on demand standard visual reporting was introduced. At 6.30am every morning, each stakeholder receives an e-mail overview of OEE performance on strategic lines, giving a snapshot of 24 hours production. This mail hyperlinks to production, downtime, and quality reports, with the production performance report linking directly to Agility to give visibility of any downtime incident. This reporting has improved overall business awareness, allowing more timely intervention at all management levels. The nett effect has been an overall OEE improvement across all lines between 5 and 35%.

“The importance of Agility to RPL cannot be overstated. It is fully integrated into our business processes and is used at all levels across the business to manage and improve all aspects of the operation.”

Mark Anderson – RPL Maintenance Manager

Also during 2016, RPL’s strategy was to link the main technical compliance disciplines and prove this by third-party audit. RPL undertook an integrated Safety Health & Environment (SHE) approach and the BSC 5 star Integrated Audit in July, which audits and measures against ‘Best Practice’ rather than ‘Compliance to standard.’ RPL received the report in September and were proud to register a 97.45% score. The application of Agility was highlighted as a positive mechanism to achieving this result. Following this, RPL applied for and were awarded the BSC Sword and Globe of honour at a prestigious international ceremony in London in November 2016. The report stimulated an improvement program which has enhanced the sustainability of the business and the awards have recognised RPL within the wider Ricoh family, customers, and stakeholders.

Next Steps

Agility has been integrated into production data capture and monitoring systems in preparation for Industry 4.0. There are also plans to use Agility to help provide business insight and intelligence through powerful dashboards and KPIs, as well as extend use to tablets and mobile phones.


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