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Equipment Component Manufacturer Boosts Capacity by 30% with Lean Manufacturing


Introduction:

This case study examines how our client, a direct to OEM manufacturer of custom component solutions for agriculture and construction equipment, successfully increased their production capacity by 30% through the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques. The focus was on flow analysis, product rationalization, layout design work standardization, and 5S methodologies. This case study highlights the challenges faced by the company, the solution provided by the lean manufacturing techniques, and the resulting benefits achieved.


Challenges Faced:

Before implementing lean manufacturing techniques, this client encountered several challenges, including:


  • Inefficient flow of materials and information: The flow of materials and information between departments was inefficient, leading to bottlenecks and delays in production.

  • Product variation: The client had a wide range of chair models with varying features, leading to complexity in production and increased inventory levels.

  • Inconsistent work processes: Each employee had their own way of completing tasks, leading to inconsistencies in product quality and production times.

  • Inefficient layout design: The layout of the production floor was suboptimal, resulting in wasted space and inefficient material movement.


Solution:

To address these challenges, this client in partnership with Techam Solutions implemented a comprehensive and structured lean manufacturing program. The implementation process included the following main steps.

  • Needs assessment and goal setting: The client worked with Techam to identify their specific pain points, set objectives, and define key performance metrics to measure success.

  • Training and change management: Comprehensive training programs were conducted to familiarize employees with the new processes and encourage adoption across all levels of the organization.

  • During the project, Techam coached the team to go through the products variation and product family analysis to create a high quantity value stream.

  • Flow Analysis: A team was created to analyze the flow of materials and information between departments, and improvements were made to ensure that materials and information were flowing efficiently. Workstations were reorganized to optimize the flow of work and minimize waste.

  • We then designed an assembly line to replace it with the existing cellular design which resulted in shorter cycle time, better teamwork and communication and uninterrupted flow.

  • We implemented Kanban and sideline inventory to streamline the inventory management and saved significant real estate.

  • Standard work procedures were developed and implemented across all departments to ensure consistency and efficiency. Employees were trained in the new processes, and performance was regularly monitored and evaluated.


Benefits and Results:

The implementation of the lean manufacturing program yielded significant benefits for the client, including:

  • Increased capacity: By implementing work standardization, flow analysis, and 5S methodologies, the client was able to increase their production capacity by 30%.

  • Improved quality: The standardization of work processes and the implementation of flow analysis led to improved product quality and reduced defects.

  • Increased efficiency: The flow analysis and 5S methodologies resulted in a more efficient use of space, reduced material waste, and increased productivity.

  • Improved employee morale: The new processes and organization led to a cleaner, safer, and more efficient work environment, which improved employee morale and job satisfaction.

  • Cost savings: The improved efficiency and reduced waste led to cost savings for the company.

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