Applying Lean Six Sigma to your bottle neck processes will deliver you multiple results.
Not only can you reduce to process time, eliminate mistakes but also find innovative solutions to problems that might be as old as the company.
Next to operational improvements you can address the health and safety issues in many cases.
And lastly, all of these improvements has a financial benefits in terms of cost reduction and/or sales increase.
In the following interview with John te Riele, Production Manager at Voith Paper Fabrics B.V., Haaksbergen, Netherlands, we discuss one of his Green Belt projects.
Listen here: Case Study – 96% Reduction of Set Up Time
The objective of his project was to reduce the set up time of an assembly table where dryer felts are assembled from spirals. Dryer felts are kind of convey belts running on the paper machines. Spirals are made of polyester yarns at high temperature by twisting the yarn around a metal pin.
Although John is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, therefore he has lots of other daily responsibilities next to Lean Six Sigma improvement projects, he was able to achieve the following excellent results:
1. John and his project team reduced the set up time by 96% from 148 minutes to 6 minutes.
2. Reducing set-up time created 935 work-hour additional capacity.
3. John has also created a new, bigger tubes to hold more spirals, therefore reducing the change-over time
4. John also solved the problem of finding the end of the 10.000 meter spiral by fixing the end in a trench (deep, long cut) on the upper part of the tube. No searching any more.
5. A new trolley is designed with the results of easier transport, no lifting, easier exchange tubes , easier storage , improved overview stock, less walking.
6. Net financial savings: 13.000 Euro per year.
You could say “that’s not much money”.
Right and that is the wrong approach when you primarily focus on the savings with Lean Six Sigma because all the additional benefits would be neglected.
Would you cancel John’s project if you knew point #6?
What’s your opinion?