Original Date: 04/24/2006
Revision Date: / /
Information : Lean Manufacturing
MMP initiated a lean manufacturing program to resolve problems and improve the production capability in its Drill Department and Rockwell Hardware work cell areas. The resultant effort produced a well-organized, greatly improved work area that reduced needed floor space by 30%, improved throughput by 15%, reduced work-in- process by almost 10%, and established a company-supported drill-training program.
In the fall of 2004, Midwest Metal Products (MMP) initiated a lean manufacturing program in its Drill Department and Rockwell Hardware work cell areas. MMP drill production personnel observed that they did not have a drill- training program, and their production area was cluttered and disorganized (Figure 3-1). Production personnel also had no defined drill processes other than actually working on parts, and the disconnect between company support and the shop floor extended to other miscellaneous production problems.
The Lean Team, comprised of MMP personnel, initiated the Lean Manufacturing program using the 5S principles on problems observed in the company’s Drill Department. The 5S principles – Sort, Simplify, Sweeping, Standardize, and Sustain – were employed in the drill production area. The Lean Team addressed the cluttered, disorganized, and unsafe work centers and storage areas. These areas were assessed and a plan of action was prepared to clean and provide order to the work centers. Unused and/or out-of-place items on the work benches were trashed, effectively stored, or returned to their rightful place. Work center equipment was cleaned and provided a standard set of tools in a defined place (Figure 3-2). An unexpected outcome of this exercise resulted in reduced floor space requirements in the drill area.
The Lean Team also addressed the lack of MMP-oriented drill processes and the lack of a company-established drill- training program. Company drilling methods and procedures were reviewed and assessed. The Lean Team organized the gathered drilling information and established a standardized set of company-oriented drill processes and a company-oriented drill-training program.
As a result of cleaning and organizing the drilling work area, machine operators realized many improvements. Production floor space was reduced by 30%, production setup times were reduced by 50%, and communications between support activities and the shop floor was improved. The cumulative effect of the lean manufacturing exercise improved product production by increasing product throughput 15% while reducing work-in-process (WIP) by almost 10%.
Figure 3-1. Storage Area Before Implementing \I5S\i
The MMP Lean Team initiated a lean manufacturing methodology as a model for the company to use that improved production capability throughout the plant. MMP invested approximately $20,000 in its Lean Manufacturing program. The Drill Department has documented a three-fold return on investment. With a successful model to follow, MMP can emulate the success of this lean manufacturing experiment and employ it to other manufacturing areas.
Figure 3-2. Storage Area After Implementing \I5S\i
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