Original Date: 02/10/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Material Handling, Storage, and Shop Floor Management
Through a steel service center style process and team organization, Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. has reduced labor hours and cycle time, increased sales volume, improved shop floor planning, and implemented continuous improvement practices.
In the past, Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. received precut materials from local vendors in large bundles that were greatly disorganized. The materials were off-loaded by forklift, sorted, and organized manually. Although Bender offered to pay extra, vendors were unwilling to pre-sort material bundles.
In December 2001, Bender implemented a steel service center style process whereby material is received by rail or truck in the quantities and types determined to be the best mix for its major product types. Bender installed remote- controlled gantry cranes and magnetic plate material handling lifts as well as hoists for handling structural profiles. In addition, it established a culture of teamwork.
As a result, Bender was able to reduce labor input by 160 hours per week while retaining the same throughput. The company was able to manage material for multiple contracts and reduce cycle time, which increased outside sales by nearly 30%. Bender now has control of shop floor scheduling, which enables better planning and formalized, documented weekly meetings that have led to more efficient use of shop floor space. These improvements have doubled Bender’s production capability in the steel processing workshop.
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