Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Lean Manufacturing Practices
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s Lean Process Improvements for its Machine Shop’s storage and distribution of tooling reduced lost travel time and safety hazards while improving tool availability, accountability, and employee moral.
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility (EBQP) introduced Lean manufacturing practices in all of its processes and work areas. Significant resources have been successfully devoted to providing Lean training, technical support, and staff assistance necessary for the implementation of Lean projects. A significant amount of production time was being lost due to a shortage of holders and a lack of organization in the Machine Shop’s tool setting area. The area was cluttered with racks, tooling was unorganized, and material was in the aisles. The congestion created safety hazards, was aesthetically unpleasing to employees, and prevented the use of tool caddies in the area, which was approximately 200 feet from the machines being serviced. This resulted in poor communication between the machinists, programming, and tool setter.
A Process Improvement Team comprised of employees from various positions in the Machine Shop was organized to identify and resolve issues affecting the area. The Team reviewed the area and logistics of the location, and determined there were issues with the location of the area and the lack of equipment storage space. The Team invested less than $1,500 in fencing supplies and approximately 65 labor hours to establish a secure location near the machines for the tool setter area. The new location has eliminated lost travel time to the crib. This move greatly improved communication between the tool setter, machinists, and foremen. The area was sized to accommodate all of the tooling, a phone was placed in the area to allow for communication between the tool setter and programmers, and the tool caddies can now be used to move tooling to and from the machines.
The new setup has proven to be an outstanding success. Tool shortages have been nearly eliminated, travel time to and from the tool setter has been reduced, and communication between the tool setter, machinists, and foremen has greatly improved.
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