Lean Manufacturing: Adding a Second Shift

Posted by Davin Erickson

Aug 19, 2016 8:01:11 PM

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At its core, lean manufacturing is about preserving production with less waste in order to improve the value of services for our customers. The goal is always to get the right things to the right place at the right time, and in the right quantity. At Fusion OEM, we continue to “think lean” when it comes to meeting the needs of our clients. By adding a second shift in our Machine Shop, we have increased operational flexibility, production capacity and realized additional savings. Below are some of the ways our second shift has made us more efficient:

  1. Waiting. Reducing the daily waste of hours allows Fusion OEM to consider job flow efficiencies. For example, we can now prioritize those jobs that can be processed and shipped the same day in order to meet a tight deadline. Orders requiring extra processing time such as customization or powder coating are now planned and completed over two shifts. On the other hand, orders waiting for a part can be started later in the day.
  2. Resources. The strength of a two-shift operation is the utilization of equipment. The more hours our machines are run, the greater their production capacity. Two shifts in our Machine Shop effectively doubles our tooling and equipment inventory since we now have the opportunity to use them twice a day. This eliminates resource waste, which is defined as capital expenditures not getting used to their full capacity, or sitting idle. Instead of buying additional machines, we are getting more out of the ones we have.
  3. Communication. The Machine Shop holds a Daily Huddle near the end of the first shift and at the start of the second shift in order to ensure that communication continues to flow freely among the team. Any potential challenges or bottlenecks are addressed, and the second shift team is able to start knowing they have the tools, information and resources for a successful shift.

Part of the lean manufacturing mentality is to recognize that there is always room for improvement. As a contract manufacturer incorporating lean manufacturing practices throughout the company, we are constantly striving to reduce waste, improve quality, reduce time and reduce total costs. Adding a second shift in our Machine Shop has allowed us to achieve these goals and better serve our customers.

 

Topics: lean, machine shop