Workflow & Machine Improvements

Daniel Penn - Case Study

Improved Workflow and Machine Improvements Increase Projected Revenues for Casting and Splicing Operation

DPA helped a electronics materials manufacturer dramatically improve the capacity of its casting and splicing cell by leading a Kaizen event to examine the flow of people, materials and product through the production sequence.

DPA and the Kaizen team began by timing each step of the operation – beginning with raw materials and ending with packed product – identifying value-added, non-value added and necessary non-value added steps. Components of setup time for the casting process – tool changing time and machine adjust time – were calculated and compared.

Digging deeper into the root causes of production downtime, the team created a ‘spaghetti diagram’ to measure the distance from one operator step to the next, identifying opportunities for travel distance reduction, lead reduction and safety improvements.

The team ranked their ideas, including visual schedule signs for the production area and a monthly review of business metrics with all employees.

Through the process, DPA and the Kaizen team were able to:

  • Totally eliminate non-value added steps
  • Identify an improved floor layout that would reduce travel distance by 58 percent
  • Pinpoint and control quality of the casting rollers
  • Implement a new splicing material and method
  • Restructure tasks of the cell’s relief person
  • Develop a plan to increase speed of the casting line

As a result of DPA’s work with its Kaizen team, the company is on track to increase production from 599 to 1,069 units per shift, a 78.6 percent production improvement that is expected to yield the company an additional $3.25 million in annual revenue.

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