Each team competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship travels around 160,000 kilometres a year between races. Transporting the cars and several tonnes of equipment around the world is a logistically challenging feat. Here, Rob Holloway, supplier relationship manager at obsolete equipment supplier, EU Automation, discusses how developments in logistics has improved the speed at which parts can be delivered
Each Formula One team transports two cars and around 50 tonnes of additional equipment, all of which must be at the next track with enough time to reassemble the cars and prepare for the race. This puts pressure on the teams to transport the cars thousands of miles to a tight deadline. Similarly, there is pressure on manufacturers to obtain replacement parts before equipment breaks down.
Many manufacturing plants use predictive maintenance to establish how well equipment is functioning. This means that replacement parts can be ordered and delivered before equipment failure.
For manufacturers that don’t use predictive maintenance, it is imperative that they order parts with fast delivery, as every second the manufacturing line is down will be at a cost to the company.
Faster delivery, better result
Whether the plant schedules preventative maintenance or not, quick part delivery is of the utmost importance. Manufacturers should partner with a reliable supplier of spare industrial parts, such as EU Automation, that offers a speedy delivery service to avoid prolonged downtime. Once a manufacturer orders a part, if it is not in stock, it must be sourced a quickly as possible and delivered to the supplier’s warehouse. From there, it must be shipped by air or land using a courier service, to land at the customer’s door efficiently.
If the supplier and manufacturer are both based in the UK, a part can be delivered in the same day. Internationally, the manufacturer is likely to receive the part the day after ordering. Newer services, such as UPS Proactive Response, help prevent delivery delays to speed up the process further. It is best for manufacturers to call their suppliers as early as possible so that courier delivery time can be met. If the part needs to be delivered internationally in a short time frame, a manufacturer could opt for a more expensive flash flight service.
Part shipping is not without its challenges. Once the part has arrived, it needs to reach the maintenance team, who may not be immediately available. Companies can avoid unnecessary downtime with good communication, ensuring that whoever receives the package knows where and who to deliver it to internally.
For operations to keep running smoothly, couriers must be cyber-secure. In a recent ransomware cyber-attack, international courier, TNT’s services were disrupted, which affected the delivery of its orders. In future, drones could be used to prevent infrastructure and peak times from causing delays.
Improved visibility and transit times have already sped up part delivery. Even so, it’s important for manufacturers to stay up to date with maintenance schedules so they don’t have to suffer expensive downtime when waiting for delivery. This means that parts can be delivered to the right place, at the right time, which is as important in manufacturing as it is in Formula One racing.