Motorcycle Manufacturing – Paint Shop Kaizen

Posted on September 25, 2013

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.

 Project Deliverables:

  • 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.

Project Results/Benefits:

  • 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.