ATS Case Study:
Optimization at Safety Shoe Manufacturing Plant
Project duration: 4 months
Project Saves: 20 % factory space, 15 % Rework reduction
Lean is a structured proven method for improving business performance focusing on waste elimination. ATS is a leading company supporting companies implementing the Lean methods by offering Lean Training and Consultancy.
A full 5S program was started in order to clean and organize the workplace. Mayor attention was paid in building a clear understanding between operators of the importance of a clean and well organized plant floor, instilling ownership of the process. Among other actions, unnecessary tools/machines were removed, tool location were defined, corridors and material storages were delimited, work was standardized and autonomous machine cleaning and tool changes preparation were scheduled.
The implementation of a Supermarket system reduced plant floor stock and material space considerably. Small shoe components like shoelaces and heels were kept on stock 10 times more then the daily production needed and work was regularly disrupted because of shortages and unplanned refilling. For example, a simple but very effective action taken like a two colour strip system (canban) indicating when the amount of components needed to be refilled, improved the refilling process considerably. When the level of components in a box decreases below a minimum, the red part of the coloured strip becomes visible indicating the re-filler requires to fill the box with components.
Value stream mapping was used to analyse waste and rework origins in the production processes. Visualising the rework process improved the management focus to decrease rework actions. Plant layout analysis exposed large and unnecessary amount of material and personnel movements. Relocation of machines and (temporary) storages, as well as a new design promoting a FIFO structure for material consumption led to a reduction of 20 % of factory space. Manual and electronic Poka Yokes and process Malfunction & manufacturing Inconsistency Alerting and Detection Systems reduced rework with 15 %.