CASE STUDY SUMMARY - INDUSTRIAL PLANTS
1. South Carolina Engine Plant Assembly line
The improvement process allowed workers to be responsible for their own work and created a mechanism for requesting improvement assistance and a feedback and closure loop that recognized and built in improvements. The results were:
• 2500 ft. line to 120 ft. line.
• 400 engines in process inventory to 20 in process.
• $2 million in process to $100,000 in process.
• 40% built complete from lineset to 98% built complete (without talking to a supplier).
• Reduction in floor space of 75%.
• Reduction thruput time from 3 weeks to 6 hours.
2. Ohio Crankshaft Plant
In an automotive component business, with sales of $8 million/year the clarification of responsibility and schedules allowed:
• A specific ordering of support functions reducing indirect labor cost 90%.
• A 60% reduction in direct labor.
• Immediate feedback causing variances to be corrected immediately.
• Audit costs reduced by 90%.
Continuous improvement initiatives showed that improvements were best made by those who were closest to the work. Productivity improvements required an exchange of information between management and line employees to enable them to make improvements.
3. Indiana Fuel Pump plant
At a fuel system plant with yearly sales of $40 million, productivity improvement focused on scheduling and clarification of responsibilities by organizing production around customer demand:
• Three of four order documents were eliminated.
• Nine of thirteen productivity measurements were eliminated.
• The clarity of what needed to be managed and what could stop being managed allowed three of five managers to take excess capability into new markets.
• Balanced and synchronized operations allowed for a $2 million reduction in in-process inventory.
• Workers understood the scheduling system and have created a measurement system that directly reflects improvements work.
• Saved $7 million per year in operating expense.
• The space requirements of the new businesses were accommodated in the existing facility due to base business space reduction of 80%.
• In every situation, management of direct labor was simplified. Management changed from managing variances to supporting improvements.