A Midwest motorcycle manufacturer was experiencing inventory and throughput issues in the Inspection and Finesse Area of their Paint Shop.
Reason for Project:
- Epicenter was invited to participate in a Kaizen event to identify the root causes of the issues and develop sustainable corrective measures to eliminate the problems.
- Over the course of 1 week, Epicenter actively participated in the Kaizen activities. Activities included: observation, interviewing of plant personnel, time study data collection and analysis, hands on “try-storming” and extensive team collaboration.
- All information collected was summarized, analyzed and reviewed with the team.
- A final report summarizing the findings and improvement recommendations from the Kaizen was generated.
- Throughput Improvements: Improving work methods, accurately identifying defects (as soon as possible in the process) and reassigning/rebalancing work activities increased throughput per Finesse operator by 40%.
- Labor Savings: These throughput improvements directly resulted in a labor savings of 1 operator per shift.
- Quality Improvements: The importance of identifying and appropriately dealing with quality issues as soon as possible in the process was highlighted and procedures were implemented to facilitate and maintain this moving forward.
- WIP Inventory Reduction: The quality improvements (parts stored are defect free and ready for Finesse) and throughput gains (parts can be finessed faster) allowed the client to operate with a significantly smaller WIP inventory without the fear of starving downstream operations.
I.D. Images was experiencing a significant amount of growth. The current operations were profitable but seen as inefficient. In addition, the company was spending an increasing amount of money and time supporting an outside warehouse to store inventory.
Reason for Project:
- I.D. Images decided to hire an outside engineering consulting firm to utilize Lean Manufacturing principles and techniques and develop a new (Future State) layout as an opportunity to streamline operations, improve material flow, and ultimately position the organization to be more competitive in the future.
- A GreenRoom process was used to co-develop a new, streamlined facilities layout.
- A series of recommendations were developed/ranked for improving the operational capacity and efficiency.
- Productivity Increase: Material distance moved per week was reduced by 57%. Number of trips required to complete the value-stream process was reduced by 49%
- Cost Reductions: Elimination of an outside warehouse to store inventory.
- Capacity Increase: Increased production capacity within the same footprint.
- Quality Improvement: Reduced material damage due to reduction in handling.
A manufacturing firm that produces high-quality trench shielding products. Its company growth over the past few years had led to increases in inventory levels, and it was concerned about the lack of “best practice” standards within its operations.
Reason for Project:
- In order to accelerate improvements to their operations, the Client decided to hire an outside consulting resource to complete a value stream mapping project of their principal product families. The hope was that this project would lay the groundwork for a Lean manufacturing operation with standardized, “best-practice” processes that are documented and followed.
- Completion of a Value-Stream Mapping Kaizen of the top product families.
- Completion of a Spaghetti-Flow Analysis to consider the material flow through the facilities.
- A series of recommendations developed through the completion of Future State Value-Stream Maps.
- Productivity Increase: Streamlined flow of materials through primary facility.
- Lead-Time Reductions: Average of 78% lead time reduction in order-to-shipment time in Vertical Shore Production.
- Inventory Reductions: Elimination of 50-80% of the raw and in-process inventory.