Many manufacturing companies have implemented lean principles in their workflow. Components Company Inc. is no exception.
The goal of lean processes is to eliminate waste in the form of product as well as time and money. At Components Company, we believe that it’s important to continue to invest in our lean manufacturing education. On July 19, CCI invited Fox Valley Tech College into our Brookfield, Wis., facility for more lean principles training.
For half a day, Components Company employees participated in a lean manufacturing exercise. All CCI employees were included in the workshop.
The focus of the training was to streamline production for better quality of products. The trainers chose a paper airplane for the product.
The employees were given a blueprint with non-specific instructions on how to construct the paper airplane. Multiple workstations were set up throughout the facility and employees were assigned certain tasks at each station.
The airplanes moved from one workstation to the next until they reached completion. However, there was no clear and concise direction on how they were to be constructed. Also, there were too many people involved in the process which created more room for error.
After the employees created about 40 or 50 samples, they examined the result. Overall, the completed paper airplanes were not identical and many were flawed.
The trainers helped the CCI employees to identify the problem areas and reorganize the production method for the airplanes.
They were given clear instructions for creating the airplanes and the production team was narrowed down to one workstation with 5 people who each had a unique task in construction. Soon, they were producing identical airplanes with consistent quality.
The paper airplane workshop highlighted several lean principles. It was important that the employees were given clear step-by-step instructions for creating the airplanes. It was also beneficial to limit the number of people working on the project and to give those involved specific and unique jobs. These principles reduced the chance for error while freeing up other employees to work on other projects.
“It was so important that every employee was involved in this training,” George James, Account Specialist / Estimator for Components Company Inc., said. “It really drove home the idea of how important ISO and quality is for CCI and its customers.”