Switch from a batch to a unit flow production
The company has been producing in batches for years. It receives parts from its various suppliers and assembles part of the product and puts it in stock, for a few hours or a few days. These semi-finished products are then taken over by other employees and other parts are assembled. Once again, the product is put back into stock. In total, to assemble a product, there are 5 assembly steps and 5 inventory steps.
The customer contacts me to ask me if his production is efficient. The aim is to review production methods in order to improve productivity.
- For a typical and representative product, observations and measurements of each stage of production and the time taken to inventory semi-finished products.
- Documentation of these steps and analysis of value-added and non-value-added steps.
- Non-value-added tasks accounted for 98% of manufacturing time, compared to only 2% of value-added tasks.
- Simulations and measurements of 3 productions of the same product per unit flow and eliminating non-value-added tasks.
- Comparison between batch production and unit flow production.
- Implementation of the unit flow method.
- Reorganization of the production floor.
- Training was given to each employee.
- Documentation sheets were created to measure the time of each task and each production in order to maintain the new ways of doing things and to improve them.
- Objectives and key performance indicators have been put in place.
- Follow-ups were done weekly with employees and supervisors to review and maintain the new processes.
More than impressive results!
- Reduced manufacturing costs and increased gross profit per unit by over $ 1.1 million annually.
- Increased production speed per unit from 118 seconds to 20 seconds per unit.
- Significant improvement in production efficiency by eliminating work in progress and non-value-added tasks.
- Increased teamwork, sense of belonging and employee motivation.
- Improved ergonomics for employees.
- Improved customer service (production being faster, deliveries are faster).
- Increased customer satisfaction.