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Lean Manufacturing Sample Projects

Problem: A manufacturer of precision machined components was experiencing long lead times, an inefficient flow of product through their manufacturing operation and poor housekeeping.

Solution: A team was commissioned to resolve these problems using a Kaizen event. In less than a week production was reorganized into a manufacturing cell and the 5S technique was applied to housekeeping and organization.

Results: Travel of material was reduced by 75%, lead times dropped by over 50%, floor space was reduced by 25%, and housekeeping and organization drew numerous positive comments from customers and other visitors.

Problem: This manufacturer of custom-engineered pumps for the chemical industry had been unprofitable for three consecutive years, could not ship products on time and was running out of cash.  In addition, the “rework” costs incurred during manufacture were high.

Solution: Pricing and spending controls were established immediately, and all costs were analyzed and attacked aggressively.  The factory layout was reorganized, manufacturing cells were established, and MRP II shop floor control and capacity planning features were implemented to better schedule production.  A special emphasis was placed on reducing rework due to manufacturing errors.   In addition, an entire lean manufacturing program was adopted.

Results: Profits increased by 12% of sales, cash increased by more than $5 million and on-time deliveries of custom pumps climbed from 15% to more than 80% in three years.  During this period, manufacturing rework costs declined by 76%.