A Fortune 50 manufacturer of high-end electronic storage solutions assimilated a recent acquisition, and transferred the product into their existing production footprint. The product line had first time yields of less than 20%, long lead times, poor delivery performance, and high labor costs. This is a strategic, growing product line for the company. As a result of the poor delivery performance, labor costs and lead times, the Business Product Team considered moving the assembly area out of the current manufacturing location. In parallel, the company considered different approaches to incorporate Lean Manufacturing. Some personnel received on-line training, but the skills did not translate to the needed improvement of the poor delivery performance, labor costs and lead times on the product line.
The 20 Green Belt candidates were divided into coordinated sub-projects, focused on the product line; quality, takt time/flow, and material preparation/delivery. The course spanned four three-day sessions across four months. In addition to the training, Flow Consulting provided extensive on-site mentoring between the training sessions to ensure success and knowledge transfer.
The teams progressed through the DMAIC phases of our customized LeanSigma methodology. Over five months, entirely new physical and business processes were developed and put in place, from Order Drop to Shipping. Trials were conducted, cultural and leadership issues were addressed, and staffing and support levels were modified to match the product Value Stream. The product line was fully implemented, stabilized and measured.
- First time yield tripled within 2 weeks
- Labor requirements, including overhead, decreased by 40%
- Daily output moved from 12 units per day to 22 units, an 80% increase
- Cycle Time decreased by 30%, cycle time variation reduced 50%
- Material kitting time reduced by 50%
- Test cabling time (changeover) reduced by 75%
NOTE: As a direct result of Flow’s collaboration and unique approach, the product line is significantly better, faster, cheaper and more predictable. The company has asked Flow to repeat the process on a more complex, higher mix product line. Green Belt Wave 2, again with 3 project teams, is currently underway.