With our latex tubing processing area being the largest square foot department in KEP’s Winesburg facility, it’s important to continually assess its processes to ensure they are as lean as they can be. In a recent Kaizen, we put together a team to do just that – determine waste and improve the overall efficiency of this department.
Developing “Lean Line”
In an effort to streamline processes, the team identified 18 non-value added steps in the cutting and pulling operation. They then developed a new line process called “Lean Line” to remove these steps, by effectively moving the air manifolds and including turnaround poles. This process reduces travel by an estimated 80 ft. per load and speeds up the processing, thus significantly increasing efficiency.
In addition to this new stripline process, the team also came up with a list of future recommendations and actions to address, including converting all lines into a “Lean Line” and new processes for employee training. After a one year review, the team concluded that the personnel have effectively implemented the new process and are seeing successful results.
Every day we’re surrounded by products composed of rubber, natural rubber, and natural rubber latex. In fact, these compounds are so common that, at first glance, you may not know exactly what they are. Let's take a moment to talk about what nuances make these...