Tighter, Cleaner, Safer Changeover Process

Daniel Penn - Case Study

Tighter, Cleaner, Safer Changeover Process Gives Advanced Materials Manufacturer In-the-black Results

An international developer of high performance foams and materials, printed circuit materials and power electronics needed to reduce the 32 days of annual facility downtime caused by frequent changeovers within a manufacturing cell that blends and applies pigments and inks.

Over an 3.5 day period, DPA worked closely with that cell’s employees on a Kaizen team to set goals, visually document the current set up process and analyze how machine operators moved around the floor to perform various tasks.

The team brainstormed solutions and put them into a matrix to determine which would have the highest impact with lowest cost and ease of implementation. They also identified repairs, fixes and updates to equipment to reduce changeover time and/or provide a safe environment. Tools and ink-cleaning equipment were redesigned, re- relocated and better organized nearer to changeover areas. Some of the machines’ components were adapted to provide operators with safer and easier access.

These improvements shaved 15 minutes off the average one-hour time frame for procedural and machine operations and 20 minutes off the average 55-minute time frame for the ink-cleaning portion of the changeover process. The projected 25 to 58 percent reduction in set up time achieved through this DPA-led Kaizen event equals three to seven days of production, or $425,000 to $1 million in incremental sales for the company.

The company’s Kaizen team members valued their involvement in the process and are now advocates for the cell’s new changeover procedures.