The AIM team: how a team of experts is helping Unilin to innovate
If you want to be a trailblazer you have to push boundaries. And in order to do that, you need experts. Take the AIM team, which provides assistance to all Unilin divisions, for instance in the event of technical problems. This way they help accelerate the innovation process.
AIM (Asset & Innovation Management) brings together the finest engineering and technology experts in support of Unilin's various divisions across the globe. From Mexico to Avelgem.
All expertise available for every plant
The production lines, technologies and techniques used by all divisions - Unilin Flooring, Unilin Panels, Unilin Insulation, Unilin Technologies and Godfrey Hirst - are becoming increasingly complex while the processes are characterised by a higher degree of automation. That is why it is important for every plant to have access to the right expertise at every level. And that is where the AIM team comes in.
To meet all requirements, the AIM team is composed of different Competence Centres, such as Competence Centre Energy or Competence Centre Industry 4.0. The experts in these centres tackle a wide variety of questions within their area of expertise: they solve technical problems at the plants, they support starting engineers or are on standby in the event of unexpected staff shortages. Together, the centres guide the company as a whole towards a future-oriented industry. “For this purpose we often pool our resources”, says Dany Ketsman. He heads up the Competence Centre Electricity (CCE).
AIM helps innovate, provides support and shares expertise
“We determine which innovations on the market constitute an added value for Unilin, we introduce standards across the divisions, provide support and share our expertise”, Dany continues. Among others, his team provides the necessary support with conformity assessments. “The stringent norms regarding electrical installations require a great deal of technical knowledge. Our colleagues have followed targeted training courses on top of the internal trainings. They strengthen the teams and share their knowledge.”
“Our internal AIM team is also a product of our pioneering spirit. We have to adapt any system we buy anyway. The word ‘standard’ is not part of our vocabulary because what we want to make usually doesn’t exist yet”, laughs Pieter De Coninck, Plant Manager LVT3 at Unilin Flooring Avelgem. LVT3 is a very advanced plant for our top-of-the-range vinyl tiles. However, the lamination line had been causing problems right from the start. That is why Pieter’s team worked closely with AIM for a whole year.
More efficient and superior results
"It is a much more efficient and less frustrating approach to share insights with each other rather than to keep struggling for months on your own”, Filip De Keyser adds. He is the AIM team’s Reliability Engineering Manager.
A year of intensive collaboration between the LVT3 and AIM teams greatly improved performance: the time between shutdowns is now 5 times longer and production waste volumes have been halved. The line is finally stable. “The AIM team developed the Asset Performance Tool or APT to tackle each defect individually. This meticulous approach was based on a detailed analysis of each problem and it did the trick: the machine now works better consistently”, Peter concludes.
“Together we implemented several tools, processes and best practices using the expertise of the AIM team, which taught the production and engineering people to work together as a single team”, Björn explains. He is the Technical Manager of LVT3.