Performance Improvement as a Foundation
A culture of continuous improvement is necessary to enhance productivity and free up the capacity that will provide manufacturers a stable foundation to pursue innovation and growth. MEP centers around the country have a strong record and solid reputation for providing superior lean and quality services as well as other programs that target plant efficiencies. MEP will continue to provide a unique approach to implementing the concepts of lean manufacturing across all aspects of the enterprise, scaled for smaller companies to readily adopt, and serving as a starting point to leverage the operational improvements into company-transforming strategies.
Meet Demand While Increasing Productivity and Capacity
Continuous improvement is a series of actions taken to identify, analyze and improve existing processes within an organization to meet new goals and objectives. These actions often follow a specific methodology or strategy to create successful results.
What is Lean Enterprise?
A Lean Enterprise produces more with existing resources by eliminating non-value added activities. Manufacturers are facing increased worldwide competition and the stakes are high. The winners in this competition work to eliminate overproduction caused by traditional scheduling systems and only make what customers want when they want it.
Lean establishes a systematic approach to eliminating these wastes and creating flow throughout the whole company. It also helps you develop and implement a long-term plan to streamline your operations for success.
- Reduce cycle time
- Reduce inventory
- Reduce Work-in-Process (WIP) Reduce costs
- Increase capacity
- Improve lead times
- Increase productivity
- Improve quality
- Increase profits
A sheet metal fabrication shop implemented lean manufacturing and saw a 90% reduction in manufacturing time, decreasing the average process time from two weeks to one day. Productivity increased by 30% saving $125,000 in labor, while floor space used was reduced by 40% and WIP was virtually eliminated.
Increase Flexibility, Reduce Setup Times and Improve Production Flow
What is Setup Reduction?
Setup Reduction builds on the principles of the Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) system, developed by Shigeo Shingo, to dramatically reduce or eliminate changeover time. The four-step Changeover Improvement Process is used to help companies design no/low cost solutions to reduce changeover time. This, in turn, allows the firm to meet customer demands for high-quality, low -cost products, delivered quickly and without the expense of excess inventory.
- Respond to customer needs and schedules with more flexibility
- Improve on-time delivery
- Decrease costs due to excess inventory
- Increase line and machine capacity levels
- Increase changeover accuracy
- Reduce startup defects
By empowering operators to reduce make-readytime and increase run speed, a printing and publishing company decreased setup time by 30%. A transportation equipment manufacturer implemented Total Productive Maintenance, 5-S and Cellular Flow Manufacturing approaches to its processes. As a result, setup time fell from 480 hours to 0 hours.
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
Boost Capacity and Improve Quality by Increasing Your Equipment's Life Expectancy
What is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)?
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a process to maximize the productivity of your equipment for its entire life. TPM fosters an environment where improvement efforts in Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost and Creativity are encouraged, through the participation of all employees. The goal of TPM is to maximize your overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and to reduce equipment downtime to zero while improving quality and capacity.
Typical manufacturing operations have experienced improvements in the following areas in a relatively short period of time (6-12 months) through the implementation of TPM:
- Overall Equipment Effectiveness (capacity) improvement of 25-65%
- Quality improvement of 25-50%
- Maintenance expenditure reductions of 10-50%
- Percent planned vs. unplanned maintenance increase of 10-60%
A tool manufacturer implemented the TPM process to improve the productivity of its equipment. The company was implementing lean, attempting to flow their parts, but were having difficulty because of the poor uptime (capacity) of their equipment. Within 18 months they saw a 15% increase in equipment productivity. What they were not expecting was a $1,200,000 reduction in their maintenance budget (repair parts), including $50,000 reduction in oil usage (reduced leaks), $56,000 reduction in water usage (leaks and modifications), and $57,000 reduction in contract maintenance.
Value Stream Mapping
Stop Searching for the Wrong Problem - Learn to See Where Value Truly Is!
What is Value Stream Mapping?
Value Stream Mapping is a tool used to create a material and information flow map of a product or processes. This powerful tool allows companies to map the flow of products in the back door as raw material, through all manufacturing process steps, and off the loading dock as finished product. This is the Value Stream. You begin the journey with the current state map - it shows you where you are. Then, you plan your lean journey with a future state map - it shows you where you're going and how you're going to get there. based on your Value Stream Map, you can streamline work processes, thereby cutting lead times and reducing operating costs.
- "See the flow" of your value stream and wastes in the flow
- View all products from a system perspective
- Draw both material and information flows of your value stream
- Draw a blueprint for lean transformation - the Future State
- Prioritize activities needed to achieve the Future State
An industrial machinery and equipment company used Value Stream Mapping to plan their lean transformation. Their lean initiative so far has managed to reduce operating overhead costs 25%, increase throughput 50% and save a projected $32,000 in paperwork each year.
A fabricated metals products company implemented lean and Value Stream Mapping and was quickly able to identify and eliminate wastes that have already reduced scheduling, purchasing and supervisory time. They expect even more results as they implement lean company-wide.
Slash Lead Times and Increase Productivity by Improving Product Flow
What is Cellular/Flow Manufacturing?
Cellular manufacturing is an approach that helps build a variety of products with as little waste as possible. Equipment and workstations are arranged in a sequence that supports a smooth flow of materials and components through the process, with minimal transport or delay.
When processes are balanced, the product flows continuously and customer demands are easily met. Cellular/Flow Manufacturing is the linking of manual and machine operations into the most efficient combination of resources to maximize value-added content while minimizing waste. The most efficient combination implies the concept of process balancing. Only in a balanced process will the product continually flow. As a result, parts movement is minimized, wait time between operations is reduced, inventory is reduced and productivity increases.
- Maximize value added by each worker
- Minimize part movement and inventory
- Reduce lead times, cycle times and waiting times
- Increase productivity and quality performance
- Free up floor space
- Improve efficiency of cross-training workers
- Increase communication
- Increase flexibility
Through the implementation of U-shaped design, a precision machine shop increased production flow by 50%, increased capacity by 15%, developed a new product line and maintained the workforce at full capacity.
Manufacturing cells were created in a metal machining firm that resulted in a 65% reduction in WIP, improved production quality and reduced material transport time from 45 minutes to just 5 minutes.
A cut and sew operation implemented a work cell that lead to increased product volume, a reduction in finished goods inventory shelving from 800 to 32 linear feet and a 32% increase in profits.
Accelerate Product & Service Flow. Achieve and Sustain Clean, Safe and Organized Workplaces
What is the 5S System?
The 5S System is a series of activities designed to improve workplace organization and standardization. These five activities, all of which begin with the letter S, include:
- Sort through all items and remove unneeded items
- Set in order remaining items, set limits, create temporary location indicators
- Shine or clean everything and use cleaning as inspection
- Standardize the first three S's by implementing visual displays and controls
- Sustain the gains through self-discipline, training, communication and total employee involvement
- Improve quality
- Achieve work standardization
- Decrease changeover time
- Improve safety
- Reduce storage costs
- Reduce cycle time
- Reduce machine down time
- Boost employee morale as well as work environment
Through the implementation of visual controls to improve workplace organization, a metal fabrication company was able to increase inventory turns 67%, reduce inventory by 35% and increase on-time shipping to 99%.
A truck cover manufacturer standardized its housekeeping efforts, inventory control methods and business practices. This resulted in a 50% reduction in inventory costs and a 67% increase in sales.
After the implementation of the 5S System by a window manufacturing company, productivity was increased by 35% and over-time was reduced by 45%.
Improve Your Cash Flow, Throughput and Competitive Position
What are Pull System/Kanban?
Pull Systems/Kanban control the flow of resources in a production process by replacing only what has been consumed. They are customer order-driven production schedules based on actual demand and consumption rather than forecasting. Implementing Pull Systems can help you eliminate waste in handling, storing and getting your product to the customer.
- Reduce overall inventory
- Reduce work in process
- Reduce order turnaround time
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Improve cash flow
- Reduce cycle time
- Reduce machine down time
- Boost employee morale as well as work environment
A maker of fine table linens was able to slash its average order turnaround time from three weeks to three days using a Pull System. The changes eliminated bottlenecks in production and increased responsiveness to customer needs.
A manufacturer of high-quality packaging machinery implemented a multi-faceted lean transformation. A Pull System was used to smooth the flow of Work-In-Process (WIP). The changes decreased WIP by 62%, and dramatically increased the number of orders completed each day.
Pull Systems/Kanban - and other lean techniques - were implemented by a manufacturer of custom fiberglass and vacuum form products. These changes increased productivity by 20%, reduced inventory by 53%, decreased lead-time by 63% and far exceeded their targeted goals.
Involve Your Workforce in the Pursuit of Eliminating Wastes!
What is Kaizen Blitz?
A Kaizen Blitz is an intensive and focused approach to Process Improvement. Kaizen means "continuous improvement" and Blitz means "lightening fast". During the Kaizen Blitz event, participants use Lean techniques, team empowerment, brainstorming and problem solving to rapidly make improvements to a specific area or process. The Kaizen event provides immediate tangible results and motivation for ongoing continuous improvements.
This continuous improvement methodology combines lean manufacturing tools such as the 5S's of Workplace Organization and Standardization, Cells, Pull/Kanban, Setup Reduction and Line Balancing. Each tool incorporates team empowerment, brainstorming and problem solving to rapidly make improvements to a specific product or portions of your processes.
Kaizen Blitz is an intense and focused improvement event where participants use Lean techniques, team empowerment, brainstorming and problem solving to rapidly make improvements to a specific area or process. The Kaizen event will provide your company with immediate tangible results and motivation for ongoing continuous improvements.
Florida MEP's staff quickly identified half a dozen areas where changes could be made to eliminate steps and improve productivity and quality after a kaizen blitz was conducted, which highlighted small improvements. Read the success story.
Why Do A Kaizen Blitz?
The Kaizen Event methodology has been used extensively for improving the organization of work in factories and actual methods used to manufacture products. The results are real-time with implementation occurring within one week. Not only will you obtain immediate improvements to your process, you will also develop a list of other improvement opportunities that your staff can investigate and implement after the Kaizen Event. The Kaizen Event will provide your company with immediate tangible results and motivation or ongoing continuous improvement within your company.
- Immediate results
- Involvement of the workforce
- Visual, action orientation
- Can use ongoing, once learned concepts
- Fosters communications
- Creative vs. capital investments
- People think from "business" perspective
- Implementation smooth due to TEAM concept
Kaizen Blitz is part of an integrated suite of tools and services developed specifically for manufacturers.