Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Re-Engineered Sound Dampening Manufacturing Process
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility re-engineered its process to manufacture sound dampening tiles, resulting in a reduction of labor hours.
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s (EBQP’s) original process for manufacturing sound dampening tiles was labor intensive. The process entailed the manufacturing of individual plates to which the sound dampening tiles would be glued. Many of the plates were custom made from templates requiring them to be cut, blasted, and individually painted. The sound dampening tiles were then manually cut to the same size as the plate to which it was glued. The glue, a two-part epoxy, was then scooped by hand from individual cans and mixed together manually, a time-consuming and messy process. The glue was then spread on the tile and plate, joined, and set down to dry. Tiles were stored around the sheetmetal shop while they dried. Each tile was marked by hand-written, etched identification, which required re-checking after painting. The two-part glue was packaged in individual, one-pound packets for shipping to other areas where sound dampening was being installed. The entire process required 15 full- time people, often working 46 hours per week to manufacture the required sound dampening tiles.
EBQP re-engineered its process to dramatically improve efficiency. First, a self-contained workflow center was established for the manufacture of sound dampening tiles. Next, a standardized parts system was implemented which eliminated the need for custom templates. A digital glue dispenser was purchased that automatically took the two- part glue from individual containers and mixed them together eliminating the manual scooping and mixing. The machine was also designed to dispense individual packets for shipping to other areas that applied sound dampening. A paper cutter was purchased to cut the tiles to eliminate the manual tile cutting. The old paint system was changed to a new powder painting system, and the manual identification process was changed to pre-printed labels made of stick-on plastic that could be easily removed after installation. Finally, an innovative system for drying and stacking completed plates and tiles was adopted. EBQP’s new process resulted in a reduction of personnel (from 15 people to three people) needed to produce all sound dampening tiles.
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