Slashing Set-up Time

Daniel Penn - Case Study

Slashing Set-up Time for a Key Aerospace Components Machine

With goals of increasing production flexibility, boosting capacity and reducing inventory lead times, a global manufacturer of aircraft and gas turbine components retained DPA to conduct a Kaizen event that would reduce the 18 hours required for set up of a key machine.

DPA worked with the company’s team to video record, measure and map out the machine’s current set up steps. The group then separated the internal set up elements, which must be performed when the machine is shut down, from the external set up elements, which are performed while the machine is operating.

After externalizing or eliminating unnecessary or redundant elements, they analyzed and recommended ways to further reduce remaining steps. This included purchasing new point-of-use tooling and organizing access areas that made them faster to retrieve. Once the improvements were in place, the team again videotaped and charted the machine’s set up time.

By eliminating or consolidating steps and operator movements, making tools easier to obtain, updating the machine’s work instructions to include sign-off columns and training its operators, DPA and the team reduced the machine’s set-up time from 18 to 7 hours, a 61 percent time reduction that translates to a production increase of 1,560 parts per year.

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