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IFIRES: industry 4.0

Today the world stands at the beginning of another industrial revolution, which has already got the name of "Industry 4.0". Leading companies are following the path of creating "smart" industries, presuming maximum integration with modern information systems and technologies taking place.



However, the Internet cloud storage are just the top of the iceberg. "Industry 4.0." also includes optimization through innovation, maximum quality control and out-of-the-box thinking. IFIRES Llc. managed by Sergey Lektorovich can be considered to be one of the most successful examples of such innovative production.

Workshops of the IFIRES are located on 800 m2. It produces unique Zarya clean agent   fire suppression systems. The workshop for welding, painting, assembling, refueling, packaging -, nothing remarkable from the first glance. And only looking deep inside the process itself, you can understand how truly innovative this enterprise is.

Digital ecosystem
The first thing that catches your eye in the IFIRES workshop is a huge DashBoard (monitor), where the status of each order is displayed in real time.

The company's sales system, production and marketing are connected by unique information network. The digitalization of the company is what they staked on and did not lose. Number, quantity of modules, process status - information on each order is dynamically updated online and displayed on the screen and transmitted through various messengers to the production manager, order manager and the client himself.

In general, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other digital technologies are invisibly present in almost all processes of a company. In addition to the necessary equipment and tools, each production area is equipped with tablets. These are electronic checklists that specialists and controllers are required to fill in at certain checkpoints. At the present time they are duplicated by paper counterparts, but in the near future IFIRES plans to completely switch to electronic format.

“The electronic checklist allows us to track the production process of each product at any time from the point of components supply to the dispatch to the customer,” Vladimir Yakovlev, Deputy General Director for Production, explains. - Moreover, now we are actively working on introducing blockchain technology into work. The data for each produced module will be in the public domain without the possibility of alteration and falsification. Simply pointing your smartphone at the QR code of the product, you can get full information about it. This is a fundamentally important moment for us, since now the company IFIRES is preparing its products for European certification. We are creating an absolutely transparent data system that will significantly increase the trust level from our customers.

In addition to electronic checklists, so-called "traffic lights" from the “Andon” system are installed at each site. Green light indicates normal operation. In case of any deviations, the employee turns on a yellow signal, which automatically sends an SMS message to the smartphone of the production manager. In case of significant violations, the red light turns on, and now the message is instantly sent to the CEO. Thus, in conjunction with the installed "smart" video surveillance system, the company's management is provided with access to information about the current production processes in 24/7 mode.

IFIRES digital ecosystem is a unique product that is developed and implemented by the IT department of the company. IFIRES specialists monitor the latest trends in the global digital market and develop their own software, focusing specifically on the enterprise tasks.

Aviation control
As the founder of IFIRES Sergey Lektorovich stresses, the quality management system is the foundation on which the work of the entire company was originally built. The standards of the aviation industry, which are known to be one of the safest, we taken for the basis. As in aviation, the principles of double control and the strictest regulations for testing equipment before implementation to the client and further operation were introduced at the IFIRES production. Almost 2/3 of the time required to assemble one order is spent on testing the assembled modules, this is 72 hours. For quality control, a whole test complex is located in production, including a hydraulic unit, a climatic chamber, a pneumatic test bench, etc.

The principles of double control are implemented through special checklists. So the checklist for each operation is first filled in by the employee, and then also by the controller. This allows you to minimize the number of possible process disturbances. All together: the production digitalization and a total of 107 quality control points represent the company's own technology - ISPFirst.

Quality in details or IFIRES kaizen
And yet, the basis of any production is equipment. In IFIRES it is not less innovative and of high quality than the product itself. For example, the welding section is equipped with premium Italian-made welding machines with triple redundancy. This allows IFIRES not only to carry out smooth operation, but also to produce welded cylinders with a unique welding seam. When carrying out tensile tests, the seam can withstand pressures of up to 100 atmospheres. The secret is in a special technology using a mixture of gases. By the way, welded joints undergo monthly quality control at the National Welding Quality Agency and always deserve the highest marks.

The painting area is equipped with German Wagner powder coating equipment, and Italian paint is used in the work. It is interesting that this is a practically waste-free production, since when spraying, paint particles are sucked in by special filters and fall back into the cylinder for processing the inner surface.

Assembly areas are organized according to Lean principles such as 5S, visualization and FIFO. Ergonomics of the workplace is organized in the most efficient way. Each instrument has its own clearly marked and thoughtful place.

However, even such a seemingly calculated process is constantly being improved. “Our design and technology department is engaged not only in the development of innovative products, but also in the improvement of production processes,” - Vladimir Yakovlev says. – “This is a continuous process, as soon as we never stop at what has been achieved. In addition, ideas for improvement are regularly received from production staff. These may be very small changes, but in the aggregate they change the whole process for the better”.

Customer should be always happy

"Shipment of the order to the client is done within 95 hours" - reads the inscription, which can be seen at each production site. This is the promise of the brand that IFIRES strives to adhere in all circumstances.

“We create a product with unique characteristics, we give consumers clear promises and guarantees and we keep them,” says Sergey Lektorovich. – “For us, the client is at the forefront, because the client is the main point of growth. All over the world, one of the main indicators of the company's development success is the customer loyalty rating (NPS). For Apple, for example, it is 86%. That means that 86% of customers are ready to recommend this product to their friends and acquaintants. Only a limited number of companies are engaged in measuring the NPS rating. And we are among them. When we first started, this figure was about 50%. Now it is 94.5%. We have achieved this, among other things, through constant feedback from the client, work with complaints, etc. As a result, today, even in conditions of work in the "scarlet ocean" and the general stagnation of the economy, our company shows an annual growth of production by 2 times. But we strive for more.

Such an approach to work and organization of production requires serious investments, both financial and moral. But the company IFIRES deliberately takes this step, since it sets itself a global goal - to be the best and competitive in the world community.