Modern Machine Shop

JAN 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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Page 29 of 163

COMPETING IDEAS MMS JANUARY 2018 28 Manufacturing Management such as material, and infrequently used equipment out of the area, and visual controls were put in place to help keep things where they belonged. Although the plant itself still has dust issues, there has been definite improvement on the one line, and this has generated interest from a number of potential new customers. The Increased Line Output A manufacturer of glass products was faced with the need to increase output due to an increase in customer demand for one particular product. Also faced with space constraints, the entire line was moved to a nearby building and set up as it always had been. As a result, the output was no better than it had been in the original building. Although a "perfect" line would have every machine on it running at optimum efficiency, the practical-lean approach focused simply on whether the line was meeting takt time, defined as the rate of customer demand (calculated by dividing available work time by the demand for the product). On this line, it was obvious where the takt time constraint was: the step in which inventory was building up. Until such time as this constraint (bottleneck) was eliminated, nothing else on the line mattered (as the late business-management guru Eli Goldratt once said, "An hour saved at a non-bottleneck is a mirage"). Actions were taken to improve output at this bottleneck, and almost overnight, the line's output increased and customer demand for this product was being met. If demand on the line increases in the future, the same approach will be used to increase output. Adding a dose of practicality to lean imple- mentations can increase the rate of employee and management acceptance, and help organizations get better, faster. AUTHOR | Wayne S. Chaneski Executive Director, Center for Manufacturing Systems New Jersey Institute of Technology MARRYING LEAN AND DATA Editorial Director Mark Albert says they go hand in hand.

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