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Chantiers de l’Atlantique accelerates its 4.0 transformation


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Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s digital Lean transformation was quick, seamless, and valuable thanks to iObeya’s intuitive platform. iObeya is now considered by the company’s managers to be both an essential pillar in its strategic plan as well as an excellent coordination and communication tool for all of its business projects.

An interface that integrates reference data (e.g. ERP and CAD) for increased efficiency and smoother data-sharing between teams.

Accelerated development of the Smart Yard plan and the Group’s digitalization strategy.

Team adherence to the VPM and Lean Management thanks to its intuitive and time-saving user experience.

The context

Established in 1862 in Saint-Nazaire, near Nantes, France, Chantiers de l’Atlantique is a world-renown shipbuilding and fleet services company. With a surface area of more than 100 hectares, it boasts the largest shipyard in Europe and one of the largest in the world, producing famous liners such as Normandie, France, Queen Mary II, and Harmony of the Seas, as well as the giant oil tanker Batillus. Four new liners are currently under construction (MSC Virtuosa, Wonder of the Seas, Celebrity Beyond, and MSC World Europa) as well as a force supply ship for the French Navy and two electrical substations.

Photo of a ship built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique using the iObeya solution

The challenge

Chantiers de l’Atlantique employs 3,300 people onsite across design offices, support centers, production sites, and more, who work closely together to support the company’s interdependent largescale projects. Critically, project managers must share information and coordinate communication between multiple groups in order to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity. Close collaboration across design and production is incredibly important: these teams work synchronously throughout each project’s short (12 to 18 month) production lifecycle and there are usually at least two to three major projects in development concurrently. In 2010, in order to gain in performance and competitiveness in the shipbuilding market, the company launched a strategic Lean digital transformation plan.

In 2015, “Visual Performance Management” (VPM) was introduced as part of the company’s «Smart Yard» progress plan, which aimed to step up the modernization of its industrial facilities in part by deploying Lean across the entire chain, including design, manufacturing, assembly, commissioning, and support. The VMP led to a cultural change and the implementation of new processes and tools that optimize team coordination, rapid decision-making, and commitment fulfillment. While a crucial first step in the company’s transformation, it experienced limitations in terms of interactivity and efficiency due to a reliance on workflows that included the use of physical paper, Post-It notes, and siloed computer files.

The solution

To best meet the digitization requirements of the Smart Yard Progress Plan, VMP managers were tasked with researching, testing, and deploying a digital solution that would not only facilitate VMP rituals — and replace paper-based workflows — but also accelerate adoption and engagement across the organization. After exploring a number of vendors in 2018, Chantiers de l’Atlantique ultimately chose iObeya for its powerful and non-intrusive solution. Ease of use and deployment, unlimited customization, user-friendliness, integrations, the ability to operate as an extended enterprise (in order to work with co-developers, subcontractors, and even customers within the same system), as well as other functionalities were all key criteria in the choice. With iObeya, visual management has been digitized and improved in order to enable all business units to collaborate efficiently across projects and in order to improve overall performance, analysis, and identification and resolution of issues. Now all critical business information is organized in one centralized location and accessible to everyone.
Chantiers de l'Atlantique workers visually collaborating via the iObeya tool on a touchscreen monitor

iObeya has undoubtedly accelerated the deployment of Lean Management within the company. Lean now represents almost half of the company’s performance gains in our progress plan. iObeya has become an essential tool for the continuation of our project!

Patrick Duquennoy, Supply Chain Director and sponsor of the Lean Enterprise lever for Chantiers de l’Atlantique

The benefits

Chantiers de l’Atlantique has been using iObeya for more than two years, with adoption across all departments. Currently, about half of all employees use iObeya regularly and feedback has been very positive.

The design offices, which were the first to use iObeya, immediately realized its value thanks to its intuitive user interface. The benefits were immediate: there was increased team collaboration and a significant reduction in the production of parts that did not meet sufficient quality guidelines as well as a reduction in delays that create ripple effects through project timelines. These are significant because QA and production delays can generate major costs, both human and financial.

iObeya was then rapidly extended to the manufacturing, armament, and commissioning departments. To enable efficient sharing and management, specific interfaces were created to incorporate elements of the existing ERP site and to directly manage projects. Delivery delays and team synchronization problems have since been reduced.

This massive deployment throughout the organization has optimized the design and manufacturing cycles of ships and electrical substations and made the process more reliable. iObeya has become an essential component of the company’s strategic progress plan by accelerating its Lean digital transformation across the organization.

Chantiers de l’Atlantique digitalized Lean organization-wide using iObeya’s scalable and collaborative platform to build the world’s largest cruise ship.

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