Original Date: 09/15/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Weld Cell
United Defense, L.P. Ground Systems Division Aiken is developing a Lean Manufacturing weld cell for high mix/low volume production lots. The new cell will include the items needed for the welder to receive raw material to the cell and output the finished product. When combined with reduced warehouse inventory, this process should result in significant savings in time and money.
United Defense, L.P. Ground Systems Division (UDLP GSD) Aiken is developing a Lean Manufacturing weld cell for high mix/low volume production steel weldments to reduce or eliminate part inventories. Previously, the company had a 60-day warehouse inventory located in various areas throughout the plant. A team consisting of the Area Lead, Engineer, Production Scheduler, Purchasing Agent, and Production Analyst was created to develop the project. To begin the project, the team selected 43 steel weldments to review and analyze.
To implement the process, UDLP GSD Aiken used a new, larger weld station layout which will house all required fixtures, sandblaster, and oven. Weld fixtures are currently stored in a central location, and must be pulled and taken to the weld booth. By locating the fixtures in the booth, the time required to get the fixtures and take them to the booth will be eliminated. The sandblaster and oven will allow the welder to clean, preheat, or stress relieve parts as necessary. The current process uses batch quantities of component inventories. The weldments are released and the components are picked up and delivered to the weld shop. The components are stored in a central location which will be further enhanced by the introduction of a two-bin pull system. Weldment kits, consisting of the components needed to complete the weldment, are being developed. The components will be grouped by weldment to enhance production flow.
As this process has not been fully implemented, data indicating savings are not yet available. However, UDLP GSD Aiken’s goals are to reduce the hours required per set by 27% and warehouse inventory by 75%. Finished weldments will be packaged in the booth, allowing raw material to enter and the finished product to exit the
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