“We focused on Nymo’s production of pipes, and the production of steel in Grimstad. How could the work processes be streamlined?” says Pål Marius Fredriksen, who wrote the thesis together with Herman Ellingsen, both students at the University of Agder where they studied industrial economics and technology management (IndØk).
Their thesis named “Lean Oriented Efficiency of Pipe Production and Fabrication at Nymo” contributed to Nymo’s introduction to IPG (Involverende Prosjektgjennomføring, Collaborative Project Execution). IPG is a method to secure efficient execution of projects in a complex value chain.
“The student’s master’s thesis inspired us to rewrite our management system, which includes various process descriptions and work procedures, project management and implementation”, says Åsmund Knutson, who works with “Quality In Execution” at Nymo.
Knutson was the supervisor for Fredriksen and Ellingsen when they started on their master’s thesis in 2012. Since then, Nymo has collaborated with a maximum of 11 masters and 5 undergraduates each year. By request, most students have focused on the process and management systems. Others have worked on issues connected to the fabrication line and design.
“Our main objective is to help students write as good a thesis as possible. Our bonus is that we can benefit from the results”, says Knutson.
Based on work done by students of the University of Agder, Nymo has revised its engineering, procurement and fabrication processes with emphasis on reducing waste, and analysis of value chain and development of machine line.
“Prior to starting on their thesis, we always define what students can expect from us and what we expect from the students. As a supervisor I usually spend two to three hours per week on the students”, says Knutson.
GIVE STUDENTS AN OFFICE
He strongly recommends that students are physically present at the offices of the company while writing the thesis. He believes this is essential for a good result. And the students agree.
“We were set up with an office at Nymo, which was really valuable. It enabled us to stop by and ask Åsmund questions whenever we needed more info or guidance”, says Fredriksen, who today works at Cameron Sense in Kristiansand.
“They would question almost everything we do at Nymo, challenging us by asking if this really is the best way to operate. They looked at various issues with brand new eyes, and sometimes they were right”, says Knutson.
In their thesis, Fredriksen and Ellingsen propose to digitize communication between engineering and production at Nymo, by using tablets and establishing wifi in the production facilities.
“Two years later, this is now implemented”, says Knutson.