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Invest Time to Reduce Down Time

“Working with Manufacture Nevada helped our team better understand lean and created buy in. This translated into new lean projects popping up onsite. A 5S initiative is now in full swing and we are hoping to 5S the entire plant by the end of December.” - Cecelia Cecconi, Emerge Program Associate

The Client

Kennametal is an American supplier of tooling and industrial materials founded in 1938 by Philip M. McKenna in the Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Its facility in Fallon, NV specializes in the production of tungsten carbide powder and metal powder products used for cutting, grinding and fabrication tools. This location has 50 employees onsite, however Kennametal employs thousands throughout its domestic and international manufacturing network.

The Situation

Kennametal was experiencing significant operational down time as a result of its processing pumps continuously being out of service. Given the large number, and specific requirements of each pump, redundant capacity to maintain operational continuity was an ongoing challenge. Kennametal recognized the need to improve this aspect of their operation, and turned to Manufacture Nevada for help achieving its goal of reducing operational downtime due to pump failure by 75%. In order to achieve this objective, Kennametal’s Fallon operation needed a better understanding of lean principles, team buy in, and an action plan for their pump team to execute.

The Solution

Manufacture Nevada helped Kennametal create a game plan based on the principles of lean. Today, they incorporate a 5S program in the pump repair department, mandatory log out tag out sheet, and team members review an operational checklist prior to removing pumps. This ensures that the underlying causes of the pump failure are captured and units are not taken out of service unnecessarily. Manufacture Nevada assisted Kennametal in developing a numerical system to track and quantify failing pumps throughout their operation. This enabled Kennametal to perform a root cause analysis on each pump failure and target preventative maintenance accordingly.

The Results

These actions have resulted in the following benefits:

• $6000 investment in workforce development

• Implementation of 3 employee ideas

• Cost savings in pump parts and labor

• Increased traceability of maintenance

• Decrease in wasted material and decrease in lost time

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