50% scrap reduction for automotive parts manufacturer

Client Overview

The client was a high volume producer of automotive parts. Their existing facility could not keep up with scheduled delivery requirements. Scrap was extremely high and machine utilization was poor. Historically, the client responded to increasing demand by expanding production capacity through the acquisition of additional, high cost, automated production lines.

Our Involvement

We brought in a team to perform a detailed analysis of the operating process at the new facility. The client had a cumbersome process for tracking failures and no tools to track productivity. We developed and implemented a comprehensive failure analysis and productivity-tracking package. This tool allowed us to implement productivity metrics in addition to improving the failure analysis capability.

We determined that the major problem in productivity was poor machine utilization due to excessive automation down-time (>60%). This led to poor labor utilization and in turn poor productivity.

We identified and brought in a manufacturing expert to resolve key persistent process issues. We identified the root cause of their highest failure modes and developed and implemented manufacturing solutions.

We developed a labor management strategy to take advantage of improving machine availability while minimizing the loss of labor productivity.

The Result

In addition to reducing labor by 20%, we reduced scrap costs by over 50%. Furthermore, we provided management with tools to assess future process improvement initiatives.

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