Case Study 3: Aylesbury Pressings
Case Studies, Bsc Hons Quality Management and Technology
Authors :Roddy McGuinn (s00093607) and Martin Toher(s00093928 )
Using the Lean Principles as a framework, what improvements do you consider that the management team at Aylesbury should be giving priority to, and why?
Aylesbury pressings is a manufacturing company that produces automotive metal components that supplies the automobile industry. The business displays characteristics of a high volume high variety operation as its’ products are considered runners or repeaters with batch ranges of between 150-500 parts and a variety of 80 main products many of which have several versions. This complex environment posses some difficult challenges for the Aylesbury pressings operation. Many of the difficulties faced by Aylesbury pressings can be alleviated by using some techniques associated with lean manufacturing. Suggested improvements
1/ Quality: The Lean philosophy identifies seven different forms of waste (muda), these are over production, waiting time, transport, process, inventory, motion and defectives. One obvious source of waste in the operation is in the production of defectives in the pressing stage of operations. Many of the dyes used are old and difficult to adjust which results in defective materials being produced. These dyes should be replaced as a matter of urgency and should be the first priority of the management team. This is so because if the output of this early stage of production is of a high quality and the process itself controlled, it will make all subsequent stages of production much easier to improve as the supply of materials to these stages will be more predictable and of higher quality. Quality, right first time does not seem to be a major priority for Aylesbury pressings as only 4 of the 280 staff are actually employed doing quality work. 2/ Involvement of all staff: The level of suggestions for improvements coming from staff is very low and few if any visual indictors of quality are being used. This is a strong indicator that all staff are not being encouraged to participate in process improvement. One more subtle area of concern is with the use of poka yoke (Error proofing) systems. These were implemented by an outside consultant but one of the key ideas behind pokayoke is that the operations staff themselves are involved in coming up with error proofing ideas rather than having ideas imposed without the involvement of all staff. This lack of staff involvement is also reflected the manner in which the Standard operating procedures (SOPs) were completed. The SOPs used within the operation were completed by the Kaizen promotion office but little consideration was given to the expertise of operations staff in this process. A recent audit showed that the SOPs were in many cases not being followed. This may be expected if the SOPs are impractical and did not consider the capability of operators or machinery. It is therefore very important that all staff be involved in the improvement process this is one of the key themes in the lean manufacturing philosophy. This can be viewed as adopting basic working practices which will operationalise the involvement of all staff.
2/ Reduction of set up and Change over times: A lot of time is wasted in Aylesbury pressings in setting up a run or completing change over activities. Excess time spent completing these tasks adds to the overall cost of the product and does not add value. Some of the activities and times associated with these are as follows: * Blanking process Change over time 15 minutes.
* Pressing process sampling time of 10 minutes and a 1% scrap rate associated with each change over cycle. * The case study also states that some Pressing changeovers take between 30 and 60 minutes. Benchmarking has demonstrated...
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