Case Study 2-07684
IET delivered an efficient, flexible production process that could be measured and benchmarked for continuous improvement.
One of the nation’s largest metal tube forming and bending manufacturers and distributor since 1932
IET’s client saw an improvement opportunity in production output in their bending area. Performance from a throughput standpoint was well below management’s expectations.
Small product run sizes and diverse product shapes were the limiting factors leading to poor performance. These customer demands could not be altered or adjusted at any time in the near future, so the client needed a realistic solution to improve production throughput to drive down costs and increase the profit margin.
After initial observations of the overall process, IET realized that there was a lack of measurable standards to benchmark for the purpose of continuous improvement. As a countermeasure, IET performed work measurement in the form of time studies on a representative sample of the entire population of products for approximately 3 weeks.
The data was analyzed using regression models based on part features vs. bending time. It was found that there was a positive correlation between the number of bends and the machine cycle time. Product features such as degrees of bend, material thickness, and outer diameter were found to have little or no correlation to the machine cycle time.
The results of this study were used to create a working model to determine custom production standards based on the individual product’s features such as number of bends, machine size and machine type.
Using engineered standards that were measured daily, management was able to objectively measure how altering production techniques truly affected throughput.
IET delivered several throughput improvement techniques that were directly measured and verified as beneficial. Realizing real measured results dynamically improved the company’s production situation and bottom-line.IET delivered a re-designed process that improved throughput by 100% with appropriate manning levels. Minimal capital costs were required by implementing a change in production philosophy with operator buy-in.