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Case Study 3 Aylesbury Pressings , Roddy McGuinn and Martin Toher.

Case Study 3 Aylesbury Pressings , Roddy McGuinn and Martin Toher.

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Published by: Joe Potter on Dec 05, 2009
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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 youconsider that the management team at Aylesbury should be giving priority to,and why?Introduction
Aylesbury pressings is a manufacturing company that produces automotive metalcomponents that supplies the automobile industry. The business displayscharacteristics of a high volume high variety operation as its’ products areconsidered runners or repeaters with batch ranges of between 150-500 parts and avariety of 80 main products many of which have several versions. This complexenvironment posses some difficult challenges for the Aylesbury pressings operation.Many of the difficulties faced by Aylesbury pressings can be alleviated
by usingsome 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 anddefectives. One obvious source of waste in the operation is in the production of defectives in the pressing stage of operations. Many of the dies used are old anddifficult to adjust which results in defective materials being produced. These diesshould be replaced as a matter of urgency and should be the first priority of themanagement team. This is so because if the output of this early stage of productionis of a high quality and the process itself controlled, it will make all subsequentstages of production much easier to improve as the supply of materials to thesestages will be more predictable and of higher quality. Quality, right first time does notseem to be a major priority for Aylesbury pressings as only 4 of the 280 staff areactually employed doing quality work.2/ Involvement of all staff: The level of suggestions for improvements coming fromstaff is very low and few if any visual indictors of quality are being used. This is astrong indicator that all staff are not being encouraged to participate in processimprovement. 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 thekey ideas behind pokayoke is that the operations staff themselves are involved incoming up with error proofing ideas rather than having ideas imposed without theinvolvement of all staff. This lack of staff involvement is also reflected the manner inwhich the Standard operating procedures (SOPs) were completed. The SOPs usedwithin the operation were completed by the Kaizen promotion office but littleconsideration was given to the expertise of operations staff in this process. A recentaudit showed that the SOPs were in many cases not being followed. This may beexpected if the SOPs are impractical and did not consider the capability of operatorsor machinery. It is therefore very important that all staff be involved in theimprovement process this is one of the key themes in the lean manufacturingphilosophy. This can be viewed as adopting basic working practices which willoperationalise the involvement of all staff.2/ Reduction of set up and Change over times: A lot of time is wasted in Aylesburypressings 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 addvalue. 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 rateassociated with each change over cycle.
The case study also states that some Pressing changeovers take between 30and 60 minutes. Benchmarking has demonstrated that this time is excessivewith little value being added.
Painting process takes around 90 minutes to complete. In that time only 3minutes is actually spent painting, the remainder of the time is spent settingup for a run or removing painted parts once a run is complete.As the operation currently stands much of the work completed for set up and changeover activities are probably being completed while the production machinery is idle.This is referred to as internal work in the SMED approach. Time spent in this manner leaves less value added time for production and is a form of waste called waitingtime. These inefficacies can be addressed by using a single minute exchange of die(SMED) approach. Where possible tasks for set up and change over should becompleted while the production machinery is still running, this is called external work.Tasks which could be completed in this manner include pre set tools instead of having to set tools when the process is stopped, the use of standard fixtures anddevices to speed changeover times. This can also be aided by having the materialswithin easy reach when required which is linked to layout.3/ Total Productive Maintenance: Some of the machinery in the pressing stage of theoperation is running at 80% of their rated efficiency. Maintenance staff have currentlya downtime target of less than 5%. The introduction of total productive maintenancewill involve every staff member in finding ways to improve the process. Many routinemaintenance tasks can be completed by the operators themselves with the morecomplex tasks being completed by specialist engineers. These more specialisedstaff will then have more time to dedicate to the overall improvement of themaintenance process.4/ Inventory Reduction: There are considerable levels of inventory being held withinthe operation, after pressing, production materials are moved to a warehouse andstored, buffer inventories are held before Assembly stage and each cell within theassembly process has its own inventory. Inventory is kept at every intermediatestage and the dispatch process holds additional inventory ranging from 2 hours to 2weeks. The lean philosophy regards the holding of inventory as a form of waste. Thisis true because inventory ties up capital, there is a cost to insure, maintain and storeinventory and there is always the risk of inventory becoming damaged or becomingobsolete. Inventory may be considered as a blanket of obscurity that masksproblems that exist within the operation as a whole. Many of the problems withAylesbury pressings are being compensated for by holding excess inventory at everystage which will ultimately fail in the long term. These problems include poor diequality, excessively long change over times of between 30 and 60 minutes, Standardoperating procedures not being followed (Perhaps because they were poorlywritten), insufficient flexibility and poor plant layout. The inventory levels within theoperation should be gradually reduced overtime, this will have the effect of exposingthe problems that exist and a concerted effort can be undertaken to permanentlyresolve these issues. This will initially slow production but this will be more thancompensated for in the long run by having a much more efficient operation.

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