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.