Original Date: 10/27/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Process Planning System
In 2000, Auto-Valve, Inc. implemented an effective Process Planning System, which helped the company earn ISO/AS certification and decreased set-up costs approximately 25% annually.
Auto-Valve, Inc.’s (AVI’s) former process planning system lacked job pre-planning, cost estimates, capacity requirements, and process and/or program documentation. The company used a system of “tribal knowledge” where the seasoned operator created the process and then taught other operators. Often fixtures and special tooling were misplaced, duplicated, or simply forgotten. Most employees were excluded from this planning process, and operators were discouraged from providing feedback for improvement. This resulted in poor direct labor ratios (machine hours to labor hours) of approximately 60% and a costly set-up process which increased annually.
AVI’s current Process Planning system was implemented in 2000 and has proven very effective. It is linked to the company’s Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) system. All jobs are pre-planned for manufacturability and special tooling. Documentation is included in all processes, programs, tool packages, and fixtures. Job boxes are used for special tooling and fixtures for easy reference. The system provides data for accurate cost estimates and capacity planning. The responsibility of the operators has also changed, involving them in process planning and execution. Operators may choose tools, program machines, and suggest improvements. AVI’s Process Planning system helped the company realize a direct labor ratio of more than 100%, a more efficient labor force, and decreased set-up costs.
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