Improved labor performance after waste reduction in production line

Posted 07 / 23 / 2021

Right size team for improved productivity and safer relieving - overprocessing elimination:

THE PROBLEM / OPPORTUNITY

Like in many manufacturing/production lines we came across multiple roles dedicated to performing visual product inspection looking for defects, these roles sometimes are considered necessary at the launch of a new product as a reactive countermeasure to find variations in the value-creation due to not understanding the root cause of the problem, this was the case for multiple products with similar line configuration as well as employee positioning in the production line.

OUR APPROACH:

In Lean Manufacturing we understand that adding employees to catch product defects is a reactive measure considered waste caused as a by-product of a deeper problem in the value creation. To make that transition possible the first set of steps were to perform series of analysis to understand the frequency of the issues and the specifics of the defects, perform management of change with all employees who are part of the process from line workers to supervisors and manager, this engagement creates awareness, desire and knowledge to improve and more importantly why this is necessary for the growth of the company.

THE SOLUTION

After teaching employees about the 8 waste and performing observations in the roles dedicated to inspecting and comparing defects against value-added activities, we discovered that above 72% of the defects came from the container dispensing machine and 14% defects happened after plastic changes on the sealer machine.


RESULTS


CONCLUSION

Based on the success of the project other improvement opportunities with similar non value-added activities were found. Mindset towards inspection roles was challenged to really understand the value added and further create a root cause analysis approach for defects seen in the day-to-day operations that were considered part of the process in the past.

“Quality is built in and not inspected in”

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