Clients and Results

Case: Company 1

A steelmaker consisting of three mills and seven shearing and folding units began to have trouble meeting increasing customer demand in 2008. An assessment identified several improvement opportunities in its production process, listed below accompanied by their respective indicators:

- Excessive reliance on overtime (27%);

- - Low equipment usage rate (Cold Rolling, Shearing and Welding) (64% usage rate)

- Incomplete and fragmentary delivery of orders to construction companies (Deliveries on Time: 72%):

To change that scenario, the company adopted the Lean System as a conceptual model to optimize its production process.

The basic Lean Way Consulting Stability package (5S, Hourly production controls, visual management, gemba walk, mizusumashi, MASP Lean, and TPM practices) led to significant gains in hourly production rates (25% gain).

In 2009, the world economy went into a deep recession and customer orders fell by a third. The company began to focus on cutting costs. Decisive action to decrease production batches, combined with strong process auditing, led to adjustments in staff levels and redefined scheduling. The changes enabled customers to buy smaller batches, as well as the company to decrease its raw materials inventories.

- Fifty percent increase in labor productivity;

- Zero overtime in the last months of the project;

- Twenty percent decrease in raw materials inventory;

- Equipment usage rates at the same level (65.6%);

- Increase in rate of deliveries on time (88%);

Case: Company 2

A Brazilian ceramics company began an aggressive production increase project at its main site, where its 10 primary factories are located. To achieve its expected results, it set itself the challenge of a 40% decrease in average setup time within 3 months. Each exchange involves 4 to 10 people, and press capacity ranges from 10 to 40 tons. The initial scenario is quite challenging: - Maintenance issues are frequent and cause various sorts of stoppage during setup; - There are few skilled maintenance operators available for each setup, and need to attend to numerous responsibilities beyond setups; - The production master plan is subject to frequent changes, which affect setup schedules; - Contamination of materials during start-up compromises setup results (often forcing a do-over); - Basic safety rules are often overlooked.

The Lean Way SMED approach was customized to meet the needs and organizational structure of the client. Lean Way developed a SMED Implementation Road Map, split into two modules: Basic Package and Setup Structure

Basic Package: consists of a mix of training, implementing proven practices in a pilot, leveling the work for major setup families, and device improvements.

Setup Structure: consists in developing and sorting resources to facilitate setup preparation and planning (standardization, training, auditing, visual management KPIs, physical space for preparation).

In three months:

- Average reduction of 40% in setup times;

- Audited support processes in four critical plants, ensuring outcomes can be replicated;

- Achieved zero contamination and formalized method to ensure that result;

- Maintenance issues down 75% during setup;

- Established visual management routines for primary setup indicators, tracked by plant managers (15 minutes per week)