Posted by William Mullane | November 7, 2016
Bay Shore Systems manufactures heavy duty drilling attachments for excavating equipment us
ed in mobile drilling applications. The company relocated to North Idaho from California approximately seven years ago, and its employment level has since grown from 5 to 25. It was in the midst of a facility expansion project to help handle increased business when the management team decided it needed assistance with the new layout.
A TechHelp assessment identified opportunities to improve manufacturing practices and reduce product lead times using Lean Manufacturing techniques. It also identified ways to improve product flow with a“product-based” layout instead of the proposed functional approach. To start the project, key managers received training in Lean principles, followed by a process mapping exercise to understand how the company’s major product line was produced on the shop floor. The process was then diagrammed on the proposed layout to illustrate the flow patterns that would result. Prior to moving on to the plant layout phase, a discussion was held on how the new shop floor might look using the concept of “work cells” for the major components that make up the product line. Instead of viewing the shop as “fabrication” an“machining” departments supporting the assembly department, there would now be manufacturing cells for the key components of the drill rig which would feed the assembly area on an “as-required” basis using visual signals. The team then produced “block layout” variations to place production and storage areas until optimal flow was achieved for the maximum number of work areas. Finally, it produced a project plan to implement the new layout and manufacturing systems approach.
- Reduced transportation waste by over 50%.
- Reduced production lead time from 8 weeks to 3 weeks.
- Improved quality and reduced training time by using kanban cards for manufactured components.
- Increased productivity by 15-20%.