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Supply chain transparency is the key to continuous improvement at VDM Metals

May 12

 Supply chain transparency is the key to continuous improvement at VDM Metals

Over the past few years, the global metals producer VDM Metals successfully made the challenging switch from reactive to proactive production planning. This has led to shorter lead times and a notable improvement in service, with much less inventory needed. It’s a remarkable achievement, especially in view of VDM’s very complex production network.

“Supply chain transparency has been the key to making the switch, forging the path to continuous improvement,” says Marcell Sehner, Senior Vice-President of Digital Transformation and Services (and former Senior Vice-President of Supply Chain Management).

 

A big step towards proactive production planning

VDM Metals is a global producer of high-performance alloys, including nickel, cobalt, and zirconium alloys. Markets include the chemical process industry, oil and gas, aerospace, electronics, automotive, and energy. In Germany, VDM Metals operates one upstream facility in Unna, where the melting shop is located, as well as four downstream facilities in Nord Rhein Westfalen producing bars, billets, shapes, sheets, strips, wire, and welding consumables. In the United States, the company operates an upstream facility in Florham Park, New Jersey and a downstream plant in Reno, Nevada.

Processes are extremely complex, involving numerous discrete production stages, deploying more than a hundred different alloys and producing relatively small, highly specific batches. The fact that some production stages are carried out by external partners makes planning even more complex.

About VDM Metals

VDM Metals develops and manufactures nickel, cobalt, and zirconium alloys as well as high-alloy special stainless steels.

For over 85 years, the company has been supplying sheet metal, strips, rods, wire, and welding consumables to customers in the chemical process industry, plant construction, power generation, oil and gas, electrical engineering, and electronics, as well as the automotive and aerospace industries. Worldwide, VDM Metals employs more than 2,000 people.

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