Several short news blurbs on various companies implementing lean manufacturing have been filling up my tickler file, so let’s do a quick roundup.
AMD has been implementing several fab agility, productivity and repurposing efforts under the name of LEAN manufacturing, first implemented at its 200 mm Fab 30. Doug Grose, senior vice president of manufacturing, process technology development and supply chain at AMD, sees “dramatic improvements in efficiency and productivity at AMD through aggressive and consistent process improvement using LEAN methodologies.”
In addition to preventive maintenance and other cost reduction efforts, many of AMD’s productivity and flexibility gains have been achieved through new work flow layout. According to Grose, lot travel distance has been reduced from 925 m to 363 m (>60% reduction); lead time variability went from 2.86 days to 0.83 days (71% reduction); And lead time went from 4.21 days to 2.64 days (37% decrease).
Most of Harken’s competitors have moved manufacturing to China or other
Asian countries, said Bill Goggins, the company’s marketing manager.
Instead of moving its operations overseas, the company will begin
implementing elements of lean manufacturing and constant improvement
with its new facility, he said.
Then CeDo, a European manufacturer of liners and sacks.
CeDo said adopting lean techniques has allowed it to become more competitive while still maintaining overall performance and service levels.
The main focus of the programme has been to reduce waiting time and accumulation of product. This has led to the commissioning of bespoke conveying systems and two centralised packing areas within the manufacturing facility. CeDo said the lean programme has delivered simplified material flows, reduction in materials movements, savings in lost process and packing time and simplified processes.
It added that it had resulted in fewer non-value added production activities and has boosted shop floor productivity and effectiveness. Md David Pearce said: “Our new lean manufacturing operation at Telford is already making a difference to our bottom line while also helping to keep blown film production in the UK.
McClarin uses lean manufacturing to reduce waste and increase efficiency. "Employees quickly learn that lean techniques involve a lot of measuring, and if you don’t understand economics, you don’t understand why the measuring is important," Kipp said. "As part of our manufacturing economics course, employees are provided a template that they can use to help them with their own finances," Kipp added.
Aircraft lighting component manufacturer Emteq is a rapidly-growing startup, with lean driving its success.
Emteq makes extensive use of lean manufacturing principles, including cellular operations and lean inventory, and is carefully planning its expansion now, Jendusa said.
“We’re starting (planning) now, revising our flow and lean (mapping),” he said. “We’re also looking at our office layout and value stream mapping. We’ll also be looking to consolidate our materials, using the concept of stock replacement differentiated by customer groupings.”
CEPS is a custom molder that went from 2% annual growth to double digits thanks to lean.
In December, CEPS went through company-wide training in lean manufacturing principles, and assigned three lean teams that now meet regularly to identify and eliminate waste from the company’s systems, processes, and facility layout. The company’s lean initiatives culminated in February 2008 with a weeklong plant shutdown to reorganize and streamline the plant layout for optimum workflow, storage, and the creation of capacity for growth.
McClarin Plastics is teaching economics as part of its lean manufacturing program.
[VP Roger] Kipp said he believes that the course, taught with the active participation of senior management, enhances internal business communications. Employees complete the course better equipped to handle their own finances. McClarin benefits as employees complete the course with a better understanding of the business’ vision, the need for business profitability and the role of competition in the marketplace, Kipp said.
Simplifying product designs, manufacturing more devices in
tax-advantaged jurisdictions and implementing lean and Six Sigma
production control processes are expected to save the firm $700 million
to $800 million in recurring savings by fiscal 2012, according to James
Dallas, Medtronic’s vice president of quality and operations.
And finally, Pearson Packaging Systems
Pearson has weathered plenty of changes in its
industry over the past 53 years. A few years ago, it decided that to
stay ahead of the pack, it needed to revamp its operating procedures
and pour money into engineering new products. Now, armed with those
products and a lean-manufacturing philosophy, the company is ready to
expand its presence in the highly-competitive packaging industry.
Hats off to all of you for looking inside to improve efficiency instead of chasing the lemmings overseas!