Case Study



– Case study description

World Class Manufacturing (WCM) is a business philosophy that focuses its orientation exclusively on the customer.

It is based on 2 fundamental approaches:

  1. Pull logic
  2. Continuous flow production and short lead times


The objectives are also twofold:

  1. Improvement of quality
  2. Elimination of waste


WCM is organized into 10 operational pillars:

  1. Safety – Workplace safety.
  2. Cost Deployment – Identifying sources of economic loss.Focus Improvement – Focused improvement of a specific problem.
  3. Autonomous Maintenance, Workplace Organization – Preventive maintenance and workplace organization.
  4. Professional Maintenance – Professional maintenance practices.
  5. Quality Control – Quality control measures.
  6. Logistics – Logistics management.
  7. Early Equipment Management, Early Product Management – Strategy for acquiring work equipment/processes.
  8. Environment – Monitoring energy consumption.
  9. People Development – Staff skill development.


In this case study, we will look at the software solutions that Next has developed to support the various pillars of WCM.

I pilastri del World Class Manufacturing

Le soluzioni WCM


Safety: S-EWO Module


Cost deployment: Digital Shopfloor Management


Autonomous Maintenance, Workplace Organization & Professional Maintenance


Quality control




Early Equipment Management



Safety: S-EWO Module

The “Safety” pillar aims to meet the needs of the personnel, ensuring continuous improvement of safety in the workplace with the goal of eliminating conditions that could lead to incidents and injuries.

These objectives can be achieved by spreading a safety culture across all levels of the organization.

The primary objectives of Safety are:

  1. Drastically reducing incidents
  2. Developing a culture of incident prevention
  3. Continuously improving workplace ergonomics

The main activities of Safety can be summarized as follows:

  1. Event analysis
  2. Identification and evaluation of risks
  3. Internal audits
  4. Technical improvements on machines and workplaces
  5. Training, education, and monitoring


The S-EWO module is a tool to carry out all the activities listed above.

The S-EWO module’s specific objective is to highlight potentially dangerous situations and initiate actions to prevent injuries.

For example, through the S-EWO module, a slippery step or an improperly fixed shelf that could fall on someone can be reported. Simultaneously, a process is generated to study the necessary actions to prevent the reported injury from happening again.


Il modulo S-EWO

The S-EWO module


The S-EWO module follows a precise workflow, as depicted in the following image:

  1. The compiler fills and sends the S-EWO module to the approval team.
  2. The approval team reviews the received S-EWO module.
  3. After further steps and checks, the central management decides whether to accept the approval team’s proposal to extend the approved solutions for injury prevention to other locations.


Schermata modulo S-EWO

The S-EWO module interface



TAG is a tool used to report a potentially hazardous condition. It serves as a means to prevent situations that could lead to incidents or injuries.


The effectiveness of the S-EWO modules lies in the extensive reporting, which allows analyzing and comparing a large amount of data in a simple and immediate manner.

The types of reports are of various kinds:

  1. Green cross: to visualize the trend of incidents, day by day, month by month
  2. Summary table of incidents: representing the trend of incidents for a given month
  3. Bulletins: table related to the current month
  4. Safety book (also for causes): monthly data on incidents with trend indications for each macro area
  5. Incident charts
  6. Unsafe charts

The reports from the S-EWO module provide valuable insights for analyzing safety data and trends in a comprehensive manner.


I report del modulo S-EWO

The S-EWO module reports

Cost deployment: Digital Shopfloor Management

The second pillar of WCM addresses the analysis of production costs.

The goal is to highlight and quantify the sources of economic loss within processes by identifying and measuring the root causes that generate them.

This way, priorities for improvement activities become evident, aimed at maximizing the benefits of projects and resource utilization. The core of the method lies in economically identifying and quantifying waste and linking them to their underlying causes.

The solution developed by Next to achieve these goals is a historic tool of lean production, known as Shopfloor Management, which has now evolved into Digital Shopfloor Management.

DSM revolves around the “observation” of 5 thematic areas: Safety, Quality, Delivery, Maintenance, and Cost.

The “Cost” area specifically aims to uncover hidden sources of waste. Therefore, productive efficiency is analyzed, as well as the duration of non-production times, both due to machine downtime and for setup purposes for a new production order. Delivery times from production lines to the warehouse are evaluated, and the actual productivity of the facility and department is verified.

Through integration with a potential OEE system in production, quick access to efficiency data, machine downtimes, and the time required for production changes (tooling) can be achieved.

Efficiency data can be collected on a monthly or weekly basis and grouped by plant or individual department and shift. Machine downtime causes are displayed and analyzed using a Pareto chart. Furthermore, a threshold can be set for setup times for a new production order, and the actual performance can be compared to the desired outcome.

Finally, delivery times (the transfer of pieces produced from the production line to the warehouse) are quantified, and real productivity is compared with the desired level.

To support the decision-making process, a concise and visual overview of key performance indicators (KPIs) is available, aiding in defining action plans, each accompanied by a duration and a deadline. This approach enhances team improvement, result evaluation over time, and assessment of outcomes.


Efficienza produzione

Effectiveness in production


Efficienza in produzione

Effectiveness in production


Pareto fermate

Pareto of stops





Tempi di consegna

Delivery time


Analisi tooling

Tooling analysis



Autonomous Maintenance & Professional Maintenance

We have combined two pillars of WCM (“Autonomous Maintenance, Workplace Organization” and “Professional Maintenance“) into a single point because both of these activities are carried out through a unified solution: the Machine Ledger 4.0.

The ML 4.0 is, in fact, an environment, or rather, a platform, from which all types of maintenance can be managed: from reactive to preventive, from autonomous to professional.

Traditionally, this has been an annual calendar created in Excel. Next has transformed it into a web-based application suitable for all types of organizations, even those not part of the WCM environment.


Machine Ledger

Machine Ledger


The calendar highlights all interventions, both planned and unplanned, integrating the use of EWO (Emergency Work Order) modules as well.

Furthermore, it allows for the management of schedules for operators and maintainers responsible for individual interventions: the system keeps track of upcoming, postponed, and completed tasks.

Thanks to this solution, maintenance can be managed in a more advanced manner, surpassing the Time-Based Maintenance (TBM) approach where components are replaced at set intervals. A significant reduction in waste is achieved by transitioning to a Hit Based Maintenance (HBM) approach, where time is no longer the sole determinant for component replacement, but actual usage is considered. An additional level of “sophistication” in determining the optimal moment for component replacement is achieved through Condition Based Maintenance (CBM): the end-of-life of a component is determined by the combination of one or more variables, the thresholds of which will be monitored through Statistical Process Control (SPC) techniques.


Conditional Based Maintenance

Conditional Based Maintenance


All the information collected through the Machine Ledger enables the acquisition of important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as MTTR (Mean Time To Repair) and MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures).

Lastly, it’s possible to identify the costs of both reactive and preventive maintenance and appreciate the trends of these values over time.


Costo manutenzione preventiva

Preventive maintenance cost


Costi manutenzione reattiva

Reactive maintenance costs


Quality Control

This pillar focuses on achieving excellence in quality by reducing defects identified in production. It also contributes to ensuring operational standards, transitioning from a reactive approach (addressing issues as they arise) to a preventive approach (preventing issues before they occur).

An initial analysis of quality is certainly facilitated by the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). This system enables the identification of the number of defects and their respective causes, which operators can input through an interface on the production line.

All this information is then consolidated into a visual reporting system that includes the use of Pareto diagrams depicting the causes of defects..


Pareto non conformità

Non-compliance Pareto



Statistical Process Control (SPC) is the application of statistical techniques to understand and analyze the variabilities within a process.

In an initial phase, variables are configured, determining what the acceptable deviation should be for a given value.



Configurazione delle variabili

Variable configuration


The process manager can define the variables for the control charts, which means setting the concept of out-of-control. The various thresholds correspond to different levels of acceptability for the established parameters: the red zones indicate unfavorable values that affect the product quality or other aspects of the production process.


Carte di controllo

Control charts


After creating the control charts, the next step involves defining the causes of being out of control and the flow of corrective actions: one of these tools is the OCAP (Out of Control Action Plan), a flowchart that outlines the sequence of steps to be followed to manage an out-of-control situation.

With the help of the Pareto diagram, we are able to identify the primary causes that have the most significant impact on the phenomenon under examination, thereby objectively assessing the priorities for intervention in problem-solving.

Lastly, the cause-and-effect diagram (or Ishikawa diagram) is used as a tool to identify the causes, which are the relationships between a characteristic and its influencing factors, and subsequently find the solution to the problem.



The logistics pillar focuses on synchronizing production with customer demands.


  • Minimize costs associated with material handling and management.
  • Minimize inventory by creating a continuous flow and reducing lead times to meet customer demands promptly.

This approach often relies heavily on Just-in-Time (JIT) principles, which involve ordering materials only when needed and in the exact quantity required.

Warehouse management is executed through the Warehouse Management System. The workflow can be represented as follows:


Flusso WMS

Flusso WMS


In an initial interface, you will be able to visualize and manage the list of planned warehouse discharges.

Based on the pallet’s contents, the system suggests the optimal warehouse location for storing the goods.

Next, the system verifies the availability of all required items and quantities in the warehouse for shipment preparation. During this phase, the system provides recommendations for each involved item, specifying how many pallets to retrieve and from which warehouse locations, based on specific criteria. Additionally, the system can communicate with the electronic Kanban system for the arrival of the required items and quantities in the warehouse.


Kanban elettronico

Digital Kanban


Similar to the inbound process, the outbound process will also provide a manageable list of shipments that have been prepared.

In the inventory, you will find a list of all pallets present in the warehouse, along with information regarding their content (item), status, and precise location (location).

Early Equipment Management

The Early Equipment Management (EEM) aims to enhance the competitiveness of a facility by continuously improving it and anticipating potential issues that might arise during production activities.

This becomes possible when designing new machines and equipment while taking into account the problems that have arisen in previous equipment.

Ultimately, EEM enables the ongoing monitoring of the design process.

The projects developed are consistently monitored by a project team that possesses specific “certified” skills.

The project is validated through the successful completion of MPInfo and a checklist.

Each project follows 7 steps:

  1. Planning
  2. Basic design
  3. Detailed design
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Installation
  6. Trial production
  7. Start-up

Each step involves clearing a checklist of questions to be answered.

The project team is responsible for:

  • Responding to checklists.
  • Reporting defects.
  • Resolving defects.
  • Approving the steps.

MP Info:

  • Define a problem and its corresponding solution.
  • Are documented and accessible to everyone.
  • Help prevent maintenance issues.


  • Comprise a set of checkpoints that need to be answered to complete each project step.
  • Proposed checkpoints are sent for approval to specific users with appropriate skills (approvers).

The reports, presented in a strictly visual manner, provide an immediate overview of how many checklists and MP Info items have reached the “checked” status.

Data can be filtered by date, plant, processes, and more.


Early Equipment Management

Early Equipment Management



Monitorare costantemente i consumi energetici di un impianto industriale significa, nella pratica, monitorare centinaia o migliaia di variabili.

Questo consente di lavorare per ridurre il consumo di energiachimici e quant’altro, per la valutazione dell’impianto e la realizzazione di un sistema migliore, in termini di consumo di risorse e impatto ambientale.

Il controllo dei consumi energetici prevede 4 fasi:

  • Modellazione del processo: configurazione di sistemi e sub-sistemi e all’inserimento delle relative anagrafiche e parametrizzazioni
  • Setting delle proprietà: setting delle proprietà delle variabili, del tipo di carta di controllo, del dominio e dei limiti di specifica
  • Acquisizione dati: direttamente dal DCS dello stabilimento, in collegamento diretto a sensori ubicati presso i punti critici, evidenziando le variabili fuori controllo
  • Definizione delle carte di controllo: un insieme di modelli statistici che permettono di prevedere eventuali scostamenti rispetto a valori di riferimento


Enhancement of raw materials

Furthermore, the IMPROVE 4.0 system enables the quantitative and economic valorization of raw material usage. This system traces the path of raw materials starting from the supplier’s lot constitution, recording each step.

Additionally, monitoring energy consumption allows for precise calculation of energy costs associated with each production order, providing greater visibility and control over production costs.


IMPROVE 4.0: Consumi energetici

IMPROVE 4.0: Consumi energetici

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