A client company was struggling to produce street sweepers at one of it’s plants. The units were assembled in one of three stalls.
The company produced most of the final units parts internally, with Fabrication, Weld, Paint and Final Assembly departments. The production rate was uneven, and shipments unpredictable. They were averaging 8.9 units/week.
The client anticipated a 30%+ increase in sales over the upcoming year, and knew that they didn’t have the capacity or floor space to meet the demand. They knew they had to employ Lean Thinking.
Industrial Solutions started with the company leadership to develop a high-level plan of training and events through Value Stream Mapping and Plant Layout. The plan was purposefully aggressive yet didn’t overload their budgets of time and money.
To start the process, the company associates attended three Industrial Solutions’ Lean 101 classes, training approx. 60 people in what waste looks like and what value-added work is.
Next, we broke the Assembly build in place model to a pulse flow line, that moved according to Takt Time. In conjunction, the company learned to use the Plan for Every Part methodology to control inventory flow.
After Assembly, Industrial Solutions worked with all the upstream departments in the same manner. Each area focused on 5S, visual controls, layout, WIP reduction.
Industrial Solutions worked with this client for just 23 days over a six-month period. The results were very good. The company went from producing 8.9 units/week to 18 units/week, more than double with very little additional headcount.
The number of units in WIP went from 52 units to an average of 17. The frame part travel went from 3195’ to 1633’, and the Lead Time went from 8286 minutes to 3899 minutes.
Not only does the product flow smoother, but employee retention rates have increased as well as the culture changes in the company.