Another Successful Kaizen

We recently added another successful KEP Kaizen to our books! We gathered a team of various KEP employees, all from different roles and facilities, to work together and solve a problem we’ve been having with our Line 2 Flange Dipping Operations.

Keep reading to see how our team solved the problem!

Kaizen Participants: 
Matt Life (Supervisor, Kent)
Don Yates (Dipper, Kent)
Jason Sundheimer (CD Inspector, Winesburg)
Becky Voltz (CD Inspector, Winesburg)
Steve Erichsen (Maintenance, Kent)

The Problem:
All of the flange parts dipped on Line 2 have length issues that create scrap, and reduced efficiencies due to measuring and trimming. This is a historical issue that fluctuates regularly without a lot of thought or time put into eliminating the problem.

Goals We Identified:
The Kaizen team will uncover the root cause of the problem by:

  • Mapping out the current process of Line 2 dipping for flanged parts
  • Finding the root cause of the experienced length issues
  • Eliminating as many issues as possible to prevent future problems

Results:
It was determined that the two largest causes of the flange length issues are:

  1. The inconsistencies of the laser sensor. The team investigated many possible solutions to the laser issue and determined that no immediate, cost-effective solution could be applied at this time.
  2. Improper form inspection. It was determined that improper training, lack of procedure, and loss of communication were the main factors for scrap and flange inconsistency.

Actions Taken:

  • A hammer and level were added to the Custom Dip tool board to help operators fix issues on the line.
  • A plan to retrain and open communications on quality inspection of parts and forms will be implemented as soon as possible.
  • Line 2 dip work instructions were updated to reflect current automated dip processes.

Savings Summary:

  • 2-3 hours in inspection per tote by isolating defective parts.
  • Time spent trimming flanges.
  • $232 for supplies to implement changes to Line 2.

Future Recommendations:

  • Examine ways to temperature control Custom Dip to help with the issues.
  • Recommend a program for a manual stop that doesn’t stop automation.
  • Recommend changing to fixed casters on trucks for better control.

Conclusion:
We’re always amazed by what can happen if you bring a few people together to solve a problem. Thanks to this team, we can save operators 2-3 hours in inspection time per tote by isolating defective parts and the time it takes to trim flanges. Congratulations team, excellent job!

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