Sapona Plastics will strive for total elimination of waste.
The Lean Transformation began in January 2010 with training provided by Randolph Community College and Solomon Engineering and Operations Solutions. All employees have been trained in lean principles.
Our lean enterprise is founded on Stability through
•Autonomation - including Mistake proofing, Stop and fix, separating human work and machine work, visual management and quality at every step.
•Just-in-time - including Quick changeover, 5S workplace organization, Productive maintenance, planning, continuous flow and pull production.
These activities lead to total elimination of seven wastes including:
2. Excess Inventory
3. Extra Processing
4. Extra Processing
5. Unnecessary Transportation
7. Wasted motion and waiting
Lean approach results in
Lean depends on employee involvement. First line supervisors are identified as champions and have been provided Lean Pocket Guides.
One of the first tools implemented has been 5S, workplace organization, to increase productivity. 5S has five steps:
Other areas of focus have been work cells, setup time reduction and value stream mapping.
Sapona’s management information system has been customized to integrate lean concepts. Optimal levels of finished goods and work in process inventories are determined and monitored. Matching production to demand is achieved in one case by integrating daily parts usage data from customer plants. Work orders indicate production output standards every 2 hours.
Sapona draws some of it’s concepts from the book Factory Physics, We carry finished goods stock inventory to ship immediately in many cases and schedule to replenish stock based on actual demand and economic production quantities. Our approach uses the CONWIP concept instead of simply JIT. Our goal is on time delivery of what the customer needs when they need it, on time at least 95% of the time. We strive for continuous improvement in all areas.
In our system we establish a current constant work in process inventory level and then attempt to reduce or optimize that level through continuous improvement. In addition, we establish a safety stock level of finished goods inventory to achieve >95% on time delivery. Within our system for each item we measure our lead time, effective parts per hour, variation of output, total lead time, setup time, finished inventory, work in process hours and annual/monthly/weekly demand. We attempt to optimize these values through continuous improvement. Shipments of product to customers pulls production through our system, but we also consider customer orders and due dates that have a tendency to push into our system.
We have a mix of products, some that are stocked in inventory and some that are strictly make to order. Some with seasonal demand that require production to start well ahead of the peak season. When uneven demand or customers desire stock inventory then the true lead time increases, but on time delivery can be improved. It is especially important in these cases for customers to advise us as early as possible when design changes, promotions, or end of life events are expected to happen. Some customers place blanket orders well in advance of need and pull the product weekly, while others simply call today for product to ship today. Within these extremes we can measure order lead time, but it is really related to the relationship with that customer.
Our inventory includes ABC classifications of items based on throughput value. A items have much higher inventory turns that B and C items. This draws attention to the critical few and not the trivial many.