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The capacity bottleneck was solved using simulation

Hiab’s hooklifts and skiploaders are indispensable tools for companies around the world. They are built to work quickly and accurately using the latest smart technology. As demand for Hiab MULTILIFT products grew rapidly, the increased capacity requirements and production bottlenecks at the company’s Raisio production plant were solved with simulation and analysis. Hiab chose Delfoi as its partner for the project.

Simulation shows the effectiveness of different production system changes in advance

HIAB wanted to solve the challenge of a dynamic production line and  increase its ability to react to changes in production capacity. Soaring demand had almost doubled production volume targets and the bottlenecks in the assembly line needed to be solved quickly and efficiently, without significant additional investment in new facilities.

”We started by making our own preliminary plan and scenarios of improvements that would affect the layout of our factory. We didn’t want to invest significant amounts of money without knowing for sure that the new layout would work. We wanted to validate the real impact of the different options and quite soon we realised that doing this required simulation. Simulation helps with correct dimensioning and validates different solution options on a detailed level before making an investment decision,” says Riku Lindqvist, Development Manager at Hiab.

HIAB wanted the best and most knowledgeable partner for simulation

When the management of HIAB’s production planning identified the need for consultation by an external expert, it asked proposals from three different consultants. In the end, it chose Delfoi as its partner to carry out a simulation model to compare the different options.

”We chose Delfoi because they had a strong understanding and expertise in developing factory environments and a strong track record of previous similar simulation projects. The fact that their service portfolio also included other production planning and management solutions also weighed heavily. Through Delfoi, we got a comprehensive package that met our needs,” says Lindqvist.


Simulation is an inexpensive, fast and safe way to analyse and improve production systems

In factory simulation, a virtual model of the operation and dynamics of an actual or planned system, is firs specified and then implemented with a simulation software. With the simulation model, the effects that various changes will have on production performance, can be accurately calculated before changes are implemented in real-life. The model provides key performance indicators such as the plant’s delivery capacity, the lead time, productivity and capacity bottlenecks in different design options.

The simulations carried out by Delfoi include both numerical calculation and three-dimensional animation and visualisation, making it faster and easier to interpret the results. The simulation shows bottlenecks, calculates workforce and machine loads, the impact of machine breakdowns on production and inventory levels of work in progress. The software also allows you to test different production scheduling options.


”The simulation helped us to choose the best option and we learned a lot. On the other hand, we were able to exclude irrelevant options, for example, we realised that we were not yet ready for a production line with fixed takt time. As a result of the simulation, we also gained valuable insights into numerous individual areas for development,” says Lindqvist.

The power of teamwork

The joint simulation project between Hiab and Delfoi was launched by specifying a project plan. In the kick-off meeting, all the data gathering needs were specified and schedule was agreed upon. At Hiab, the project involved a team consisting of experts from the development organisation, production, and logistics. The simulation project was carried out within the planned schedule and in close cooperation.

”Cooperation with Delfoi’s experts and team has been easy and efficient throughout the project. The understanding of factory processes, simulation expertise, smooth communication and continuous support are key strengths of Delfoi. I really value this kind of partnership,” says Lindqvist.


”The simulation helped us to choose the best option and we learned a lot."

– Development Manager Riku Lindqvist, Hiab