BABOLAT: world leader in racket string
Babolat (337 pers., 2018 turnover: €135 million) is a racket sports equipment manufacturer whose head office is located in Vaise, Lyon (69). Founded in 1875, this family-owned business invented racket string. Its products can be found in more than 140 countries, 20,000 specialised shops and 20,000 sports clubs. Babolat sells products for amateur and professional tennis and badminton players (Nadal and Tsonga are Babolat users) as well as padel players. In addition to rackets and string, the company also manufactures and sells shoes, balls, apparel and bags. With three manufacturing sites (Corbas in the Rhône, Besançon in Doubs and Ploërmel in Morbihan), its maintenance department decided to digitise its management processes to prevent information loss and gain in efficiency.
The starting point: centralising knowledge to promote the convergence of jobs
The operations centre in Corbas (24,000 m², 60 employees) specialises in the logistics and manufacturing of synthetic string. Logistical activity peaks between January and April in preparation for tournaments and the launch of new product lines. The maintenance department, led by Laurent Sevoz, includes four electricity and mechanics experts. The CMMS at Corbas involves maintaining synthetic string production machines and logistics warehouse equipment as well as building maintenance. The main challenge ahead is converging the mechanical and electrical jobs.
Claude Leroy, mechanical maintenance manager, explains that the manufacturing follows a discontinuous linear process performed by a set of special and unique machines; specific machines manufacture the string via a process based on synthetic pellets as well as the “heart” of the string around which the strands are twisted.
Some site figures:
• Nearly 600 pieces of equipment
• More than 30 subcontracted maintenance contracts on specific equipment (buildings or forklifts)
• More than 140 PWs (preventive works)
• Stock of nearly 2700 spare parts
• Over 30 maintenance routines
• 320 partner suppliers
CMMS as a modernisation vector for maintenance management
The maintenance department was using paper and Excel for its everyday management. Mindful of technological progress, it wanted to modernise its processes by digitising activity monitoring and getting rid of paper and notebooks for machine maintenance, to ultimately prevent absences or loss of data.
Choosing a user-friendly solution with DIMO Maint MX
Laurent Pruneau, CMMS manager, consulted several providers and benchmarked the three most relevant solutions. “We needed something intuitive and user-friendly with an ergonomic interface – which most CMMS solutions don’t have – because not all maintenance personnel are good with computers.” Meanwhile, Mr Leroy was impressed by the user-friendly homepage.
Easy to use
Corbas is a pilot site. “Once we chose a solution in September 2018, we started working on the database, the tree, the identification and coding of the equipment, the maintenance routines, etc. DIMO Maint supported us by teaching our administrators how to set up the tool and transfer data. DIMO also trained our internal technical users”, says Pruneau. Deployment was completed over a period of three months, covering upstream preparation, implementation and further development.
Letting go of habits to gain efficiency
“It was a little tricky to learn at first because we were apprehensive about using a computer tool. We had to change our habits, but the more we used the tool, the more we observed its five major advantages”, says Leroy:
• No more data loss
• Reporting information
• Building a knowledge base
• Saving time
Future multi-sites and mobility
“At Corbas, the solution is now available to requesters for all aspects of curative and preventive maintenance, but it’s a long-term job, it’s a perpetual project that monitors our evolution over time”, says Pruneau. “For Ploërmel, we are aiming for an effective deployment over a 10-month period starting in January 2019; the final objective being to equip Besançon to close the CMMS project”.
For now, we have not connected the solution to other information systems; the company is booming with the implementation of production management solutions at Corbas. In the future, Babolat plans to adopt the tablet mobile application.