Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Information : HF-9000 Coupler Lean Event
A lean event conducted in the HF-9000 work cell focusing on takt time and level loading has allowed the Rockwell Collins Cedar Rapids facility to improve its value to the customer.
The Rockwell Collins Cedar Rapids facility recently benefited from a lean manufacturing event held early in 2006. The HF-9000 work cell dedicated a week in January to establish level loading and establish takt times to increase production. This was the sixth time a lean event was held in this particular area. The focus of the event was to ensure that takt times could be met. Takt is the German word for the baton that an orchestra conductors uses to set the tempo of the musicians. In the manufacturing environment, takt time is the tempo or rhythm at which product must be produced to satisfy customer demand (available time divided by customer demand). For example, if eight products must be produced in 8 hours of work time, the takt time would be one hour or product must “fall” off the end of the line every hour in order to complete eight in 8 hours. Takt time is not how long the product spends in the process to get produced; a product could take weeks to assemble and have a takt time of minutes.
For this particular work cell, a takt time of 82 minutes was calculated because the available work time per shift was 410 minutes (480 minutes minus the time spent for breaks, lunch, mandatory meetings, etc.) and the customer demand was 5 units per day. During the week, time observations indicated a bottleneck in the process was well in excess of takt time – a mathematical certainty that the cell could never meet customer demand without overtime or other means. Work that was performed by station 1 was moved to station 2 to allow station 1 to meet takt time. Because of the maturity in this area, the individuals involved on the team were able to make changes quickly and balance the takt time of all individuals in the cell.
Data collected before and after the lean event week indicate a smoother workflow and less variation in the amount of time of each operator. Rockwell Collins plans to continue improving cycle time and operator-to-operator cycle time variation.
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