Original Date: 11/12/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Single Piece Flow in Printed Circuit Board Area
Frontier Electronic Systems has implemented the Single Piece Flow in Printed Circuit Board Area to develop a smooth continuous flow for circuit card assemblies and create a cleaner, brighter work area for employees. The result is a decrease in production cycle time which directly relates to significant savings in direct labor costs.
Over the years, Frontier Electronic Systems (FES) had been continually upgrading its Printed Circuit Board (PCB) area. The addition of surface-mount equipment and an increased workload, however, resulted in a very complex and redundant flow of hardware through the assembly area. To address this issue, FES devised a set of objectives for the PCB area: develop a cleaner, brighter work area; develop a smooth continuous flow for circuit card assemblies (CCAs); reduce personnel/parts travel; increase available floor space; and reduce non-value added work. The result was the Single Piece Flow in PCB Area.
FES first instituted a 5S program (sort, simplify, sweep, standardize, self-discipline) to obtain a cleaner, brighter work environment in the PCB area. Next, the company used a Value Stream Map (e.g., walk the process, map the flow and sequence of events) in conjunction with an Area Scan and a Spaghetti Diagram. These process activities helped the company identify extra personnel/parts travel to stations, available floor space, and areas of non-value added work. By reorganizing the work area and adding test equipment to the production line, the company achieved a continuous flow of work for the CCAs.
The Single Piece Flow in PCB Area enabled FES to meet its objectives. This approach eliminated many hours of delay caused by processing CCAs in a batch environment. As a result, FES realized an 80% decrease in production cycle time. Table 2-2 shows additional savings in regard to travel, floor space, and non-value added work.
Table 2-2. Single Piece Flow
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