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Location:
 Nampa, Idaho ­ Canyon County
Project Area: Lean Manufacturing

Situation

Nampa, Idaho based Selkirk Metalbestos employs 150 workers and is a leading manufacturer of registers, grilles, diffusers, chimney, and gas venting product lines ranked among the best in the HVAC industry. Prior to transitioning to a lean manufacturing operation, forecasts and production schedules were based on past order activity leading to large production runs, inefficient use of work cells, excessive WIP/inventory, and an inefficient warehouse/delivery operation. Selkirk’s mass manufacturing mentality created large stocks of inventory and finished product to meet fluctuating customer demand.

Solution

The TechHelp/Selkirk Lean Team introduced Lean to a single production cell that served as Selkirk’s Lean pilot project and proving ground. Selkirk took the lessons learned during the pilot project and gradually rolled Lean out factory-wide. Selkirk’s Lean transformation included workforce training in Lean Manufacturing Principles, Value Stream Mapping, implementation of a Kanban system, Setup Reduction, Cellular Flow, Visual Workplace, 5S, TPM and regular Kaizen Events.

Results

Selkirk’s lean transformation included:

  • Workforce training in lean manufacturing principles to create a baseline of understanding and language of lean.
  • Value stream mapping to target areas for improvement.
  • Implementation of a kanban system for inventory and production control based on customer demand.
  • Setup reduction and cellular flow to enable quick machine turn around and short production runs based on customer demand.
  • Creation of a visual workplace based on the principles of 5S to create an organized, efficient and safe plant.
  • Implementation of a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program to better maintain plant and equipment for maximum uptime and production.
  • Regular Kaizen events focusing on continuous improvement.

The exceptional vision, courage, flexibility, hard work, and dedication of the Selkirk Lean Team led to a successful and ongoing Lean transformation: •

  • Improved productivity 25 – 40% and reduced scrap by 30%.
  • Reduced setup time on key machines by 50-75%.
  • Reduced batch sizes from 1000 to 1- piece flow matching production to customer demand.
  • Reduced setup time on key machines by 50-75%.
  • Reduced lead times for finished product from 3-5 days to 10-30 minutes.
  • Lowered inventory levels from $3 Million to $1.25 Million.
  • Created a three-fold improvement in inventory turns.
  • Eliminated the need for a $30K per year warehouse facility.
  • Saved $15,000/yr from reduced WIP, increased inventory turnover, and reduced inventory.

Testimonials

Prior to TechHelp, Selkirk’s mass production mentality toward manufacturing led to plant inefficiencies and cost control issues that troubled our new ownership team. TechHelp helped Selkirk develop increased focus and attention to the principles of lean manufacturing that allowed us to make improvements in efficiency and cost control envisioned by management.Kevin Redd, Manufacturing Engineer and Lean Champion
“Lean manufacturing makes my job much easier; I can now make better production decisions by visually managing the shop floor.”Colleen, Production Supervisor