Original Date: 08/15/1991
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Short Run Production Capability/Just in Time
As part of a corporate-wide strategy to implement total quality, MagneTek Defense Systems (MDS) is converting its manufacturing operations to cellular manufacturing, employing JIT techniques and demand flow technology. There are currently two manufacturing cells in operation the fault load isolation unit (FIU) cell and the transformer cell. The shift to cellular manufacturing was supported by MDS’s government customer in keeping with its focus on total quality management (TQM). This support and the support of cell team members who appreciate the added flexibility and control in their jobs represent key elements in the successful implementation.
The FIU cell is fully operational, and the transformer cell is in the implementation and development process. Cell implementation at MDS is accomplished by providing training to cell team members and affording them the authority and resources needed. Prior to beginning implementation of these two cells, team leaders and managers attended a World Class Manufacturing seminar and many cell team members attended a one week JIT training course. Continuous training is provided to all MDS associates as part of the total quality program called Total Excellence at MagneTek (TEAM). The TEAM training program is currently in an early implementation phase. Associates will receive continuous training in areas such as problem solving and elimination techniques, statistical process control, process improvement, team building skills, and various workshops.
Cell team members support this approach because training has prepared them for the challenges involved in establishing and running the cells. The continuous training aids them in debugging and improving the process. They value the enhanced communication between cell members and the awareness that management is listening to them. Team members are cross-trained in other cell stations to provide flexibility and increased productivity. The team meets daily for a short period at the end of the shift to discuss the day's work and ways to improve the cell.
In the short time the FIU cell has been in operation, significant benefits have been realized such as manufacturing time cut in half and the number of defects reduced from approximately 20% to essentially zero. In-line inspections have been eliminated except for a final inspection. This has reduced inspection time for each piece from several hours to under three minutes.
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