Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems
Lead Times Drop from 4 Weeks to 10 Days
“We have made it our mission to optimize every square inch of this factory to manufacture our machines as fast and as cost effective as possible, which will in the end directly benefit our customers. This Kaizen event that we are putting on here is to unify our manufacturing team, and optimize our fabrication process. We firmly believe that things can always be improved, and that is exactly what this Kaizen event is all about. We have taken our most labor-intensive process of building our 5×10 water tables, and we’ve reorganized, and restructured the flow of materials to reduce our lead times, and make our process more ergonomic. This has taken those lead times from around 4 weeks down to just ten days. This kind of improvement is soon to transition to the rest of our product line, enabling us to get all of our machines out the door faster, and for a better value. We’ve not only improved our 5×10 water table manufacturing process, but we’ve also had a big jump in team morale and communication. This event has opened up communication on all levels, and has allowed even our fabricators to hear what our customers have to say. It has opened up a world of opportunity in terms of aligning our entire company with that of the customers’ needs, and we’ve already seen some of the results.”
– Deanna Postlewaite, Managing Director
Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems delivers sheet metal, tube and industrial pipe cutting systems to a wide range of customers from home hobbyists and artists to industrial manufacturers and fabricators worldwide. They are located in Reno, NV and employ 108 in a 100,000 square foot facility.
- Standardize and lock in the production process for the 5 x 10 tables. This gives Sales confidence in delivery times and shorter lead times will boost sales closings.
- Reduce the cycle time to 15 hours in 90 days (providing ROI for the project) for the 5 x 10 table line and align continued actions to achieve 10 hours (stretch goal) – current average = 20 hours. The project has the potential to make incremental reduction and reach the stretch goal in 2015.
- Market/publicize the kaizen to other employees, building understanding and enthusiasm as well as providing a standardized path to continue reducing takt time throughout the plant. Many have worked on the 5 x 10 table during their time at Lincoln.
- Improvement in cycle time: consistency and reduction.
- Increased knowledge and positive team members’ perception and confidence in Lean principles.
- Provide a successful platform for further deployment of lean projects.
Manufacture Nevada along with AEM Consulting facilitated a 5-day Kaizen event on the production floor. We involved all team members that build the 5×10 tables as well as upper management in the Kaizen process and subsequent production line changes. Through brainstorming sessions and active involvement of the entire production team, we were able to develop new methods for material handling and water testing of the tables. All improvements, changes, equipment relocation and new tooling were designed and built by this team.
Manufacture Nevada introduced a lean and cellular manufacturing model to Aerovault that allowed the company to work on multiple trailers simultaneously. The new process more than doubled Aerovault’s productivity.
- Lead times reduced from 4 weeks to 10 days.
- Removed all forklifts from the production of the tables.
- Installed an overhead crane for material handling.
- Installed pumps to deliver water from the tanks to the tables for water testing.
- Drastic improvement in ergonomics, eliminating bending and stepping over components by constructing a fixture that holds the spine upright
- Improved team morale and communication.
- Reduction in both price and cost while increasing margin.
- Over 50 % reduction in required work orders to build the tables from 27 -10