217 Wisconsin Avenue

Suite 405 Waukesha, WI 53186

Business Solutions -> Delivered

Manufacturing process improvement

Manufacturing is complicated. Manufacturing is expensive. Manufacturing is exhausting.  That is why Manufacturing Process Improvement is a must!

An efficient manufacturing operation protects its employees and provides a safe work environment; produces quality products ALL THE TIME without excessive inspection; produces the product needed when the customer wants it, and does so in a way that your business makes money.

If this does not sound like your operation, we can fix that!  Below are some of the ways we can help your manufacturing facilities.

Safety Program Development and Deployment – We will help you develop a top-down process focused on engagement, and you will see a reduction in incidents, lost time and recordables. 

Process Quality Control and Assurance – We will build quality into your production processes, identify failure points for inspection, and build long term testing protocols to guarantee product quality   

Production Planning and Attainment – We will design planning processes tied to the cadence of your customer. Reduce inventory of finished goods and improve your service 

Productivity and Manufacturing Costs – We will assess the actual fabrication processes you are using and apply lean principles to reduce your total cost and increase output



Four-Step Improvement Flow

Business Solutions -> Delivered

Project Example – Lean Production

Continuous Production Line Optimization

Winding and converting line integrated with packaging.

Unbalanced line; WIP outproduced final packaging (bagging) equipment creating 12,800 pieces of WIP inventory every shift per line (4 Lines)

OEE 54%; Availability – 66%

Our Assessment

Primary cause of availability loss in Packaging – “Jams-Other,” upon review of engineering standards set speed of 120 units/min was not sustainable. Recommended set speed was 90 units/min.

Overstaffing being caused by the creation of WIP. 

Focus needed to be on balancing the line from station to station to achieve single piece flow

Changes Implemented/Results

Line was balanced to the slowest work cell, which are the bagging operations.

This was achieved by programming a control relationship in the bagging software for the balance of the line

  • Thereby as the bagger(s) speeds up or slows down so does the other equipment upstream
  • After programming and shakedown, line staffing was reduced by 2 FTEs per line.

Project Example – Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)

Filling Line Optimization

Liquid Filling Line; EPA Registered Cleaning Chemicals; Producing 5 different sizes (12 oz – 64 oz); running 6,000 hours per year; 

Downtime of 25%+ of the slated annual run time; 1,620 reported hours down 

Our Assessment

Established production logs to document daily downtime, and pareto.  Leading cause of lost time during the survey period were “planned stops” for line change

Production Planning reported 154 planned stops for line change throughout the year; average planned downtime = 126 minutes per occurrence; 18.9 hours of lost productive labor hours per C/O

Changeovers were plagued by waste, which was easily documented. Actual downtime “Internal Tasks” required between last, and first product was 28 minutes.

Changes Implemented/Results

C/O cards were developed and integrated into the Standard Work for all operators, to follow during each phase of the changeover (PRE, LINE DOWN, POST).

A Supervisor was assigned to manage every changeover, starting 30 minutes before the planned change and managing it through first product produced.

C/O clocks were installed and pre-set to mirror the goal of 20 minutes.

Without any further improvement to equipment, planned down time for C/O dropped to 35 minutes, a reduction of 72%

Our consultants have completed more than 20 changeover related kaizen events that implemented the principles of SMED.  We have unlocked millions of dollars in lost production time.