The corporate decision
was made to begin the Lean Manufacturing journey. Lean requires
all members of the organization to work together to improve the
business. The corporate office developed the Corporate Steering
Committee and their Corporate Lean Champions. The Jackson plant
then assembled together their Lean Steering Committee and their
Lean Champions. As different projects are taken on new Lean
Leaders emerge at the Jackson plant.
One of the first things we needed to do was to train the Lean
Champions regarding Lean manufacturing so the champions were
sent for training. The next step was to begin training all of
the employees at Jackson. Lean 101 Training / Simulations were
organized and employees have been able to see how Lean works.
Employees now understand this is a never-ending process and it
can help them out on the shop floor by organizing their work
area, eliminating unneeded steps and improving process flow.
Some employees have had the opportunity to participate in some
small group trainings regarding Set Up Reduction and Single
Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED). More small group sessions are
planned for the future.
Several kaizen events
have taken place since the Lean process began. Those events were
held on the Valve Line, Outlet Line and on the Fabrication Line.
Small groups were assembled and any items not needed in the area
were removed. Lots of cleaning took place, items and tools were
labeled and shadow boards were installed for the employees to
Valve Line 5S Team Members
Front: Terry Toombs, , Eric
Back: Steve Schreiner, Gary Klinkhardt, Laura Klinkhardt, Darrel
Davenport, Bob Hoffman, Brian Blankenship Dong Bailey (Corbitt),
Dan Sterling, Amanda Sheffield
Floors, walls and
machinery were cleaned and new coats of paint were applied where
needed. 5S checklists were put into place so that the areas can be
sustained. Sometimes during these events processes have even been
changed or modified in some way or another to improve cycle times,
all about keeping people informed about whatís going on and trying
to make things as visual for everyone as possible. Because of this
Key Performance Indicator Boards (KPIís) have been installed
throughout the plant. There is a plant board and every department
has their own board. 11 different items are tracked monthly so
employees know how their department is doing compared with the rest
of the plant. Areas tracked include safety, quality, customer
complaints and attendance.
Many more training sessions and kaizen events will be held in the
future. This is a never-ending journey and just because we have
already tackled a work area doesnít mean we wonít be back to that
same area again and again to see what else we can do to improve the
way things are done. The employees know what makes their work area a
better place to work in and we will always welcome any of their
ideas and see what can be done to implement those ideas.