Slashing Set-up Time with Work Compliance and Tooling Changes

Daniel Penn Helps a Major Health and Beauty Supplier Reduce Set-up Time and Tooling Changes

Helping A Major Health & Beauty Supplier Reduce Set-up Time

How can a production line dramatically reduce set-up time and speed changeovers? DPA helped a health and beauty products supplier achieve that goal.

Situation
The company is a global manufacturer for the health, cosmetics and beauty industry. They have a significant market share in two of three consumer segments and plan to enter a third segment. Production rates and product variety have exploded during the past two years. These changes have challenged the entire organization, particularly the operations division of one location.

Goal
Reduce set-up time on the automated assembly lines so that equipment is used more effectively. As a result, production rates will climb, and the company will have the capacity to develop and produce additional products.

Objectives
Reduce set-up time for installing different machine components, part loading and minor maintenance by 45%.

Tasks
DPA’s Kaizen leader worked with a team of six company employees to document current performance of the set-up crew through video observation of the activities. Each team member followed an operator for the entire two hour changeover period. Each kaizen team member evaluated the work area for safety, access to required tooling and access to the machine.

Findings
The Kaizen team discovered that crew members did not follow their set-up work instructions completely. Why? The team found crew members thought they knew their respective assignments. They completed all the work, but it was out of sequence. Re-work and back-tracking were needed to complete each job. Some machine components were found to be out of tolerance. Tool room work would be required to bring equipment up to useable condition.

Actions
The kaizen team, including the company’s business manager, spoke with the set-up crew about complying with work instructions. They sorted out obsolete tooling, removed an under-utilized shelving unit and moved deviant material away from the machine. These activities improved access to the machine. They also improved arrangement for the staged tooling.

Results
As a result of the Kaizen event, the company took measures that reduced crew time in set-up activities by 27%. Longer term improvements to methods, tooling and accessibility will help the company realize its goal of expanding market share while reducing costs across the product line and market segment.