Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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MMS SEPTEMBER 2018 84 TOP SHOPS reduce scrap rates, lead times and finished-goods inventory," he says. "In addition, the system's software has an algorithm that makes real-time decisions to determine which of the two machines has the tools, raw material, spindle availability and part program available to run a particular job." The shop plans to soon add a third machine to its FMS. Equally impactful are efforts to improve scheduling. Proprietary shopf loor manage- ment software called "Paperless" standardizes processes and provides information about job setup, inspection and production. Paperless enables managers to view data company-wide or by cell or machine. "This software is fully integrated with our ERP system and tracks programs, fixtures and cycle times for jobs, and helps us control and manage revision changes," Mr. Doyle explains. "It also enables any employee to submit ideas that may improve process efficiency." Hirsh Precision Products also created and implemented an electronic production "Scorecard" system last year. Scorecards are available in every production cell and show all operations, minute by minute, that are expected to be completed on a given day. The next morning, shopf loor leaders receive a report to see if what was planned was produced. This report helps deter- mine how close the shop came to attaining 100-percent production schedule adher- ence (PSA). Reviewing PSA has helped the shop identify improvement opportunities. "Our Scorecards better enable us to trace our actions to our on-time delivery rate during the day," Mr. Doyle says. "At any moment, team members can review them to see if a particular production area is meeting its customer commit- ments. Our PSA and machine utilization metrics are leading indicators of our on-time delivery rate." Managers can also use Scorecards to identify if an employee is struggling to keep up with produc- tion demands or is encountering issues with a set up, for example. Hirsh Precision Products uses this information to identify opportunities for training and teamwork rather than cast doubt on an employee. The Scorecards have also helped employees understand more specifically how the work they do directly relates to the company's goals and customer service. Because the Scorecards were implemented just last year, the shop's leadership team meets every week to discuss how to improve the system. In addition to sharing accountability for its success, this iterative continuous improvement approach has helped embed the Scorecards into daily operations. BUSINESS STRATEGIES: Cutting Costs for Customers After a couple stints in high school working for his grandfather's job shop Ripley Machine ( ripley- ), Andy Reinwald joined the company full time as shop foreman in April 2012. Ripley Machine's centerless grinding capability is beneficial from a business perspective because several nearby shops needing ground barstock for their Swiss-type lathes don't have that capability in-house and look for shops like this to provide those services.

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