LEAN PRODUCTION PRINCIPLE
TOPIC: IMPLIMENTATION OF LEAN IN CROCKWOOD SEAT SUPPLIERS
Crockwood Seats Suppliers is a case manufacturing company abbreviate mostly as CSS in this paper. It produces automotive seats and basically uses mass production principle. After losing some employees and some contracts, CSS choose to do a shuffle in management, including the CEO to bring into action changes that will try create and maintain business stability. With a new CEO, a new strategy has to come in place, and this starts with the implementation of another production principle: lean production principle. This paper will focus on the benefits lean production will bring into the production and supply in this company.
Fordism, otherwise known as mass production principle is a principle that was introduced into mechanical engineering by Sir Henry Ford. Manufacturing was done manually first, with employees moving toward the locomotive during production and assembly time, taking measurements and fixing parts. Henry Ford improvised the idea by him coming up with a mechanism that moved the locomotive from one team of manufacturers to another. His motive was to produce cheap vehicles for everyone.
His idea was improved to what is termed as fordism today by a several engineers at different time periods. Eli Whitney was one of them. A challenge was possed to her by the USA government when it ordered 10,000 muskets. She had to produce them at a fast rate. This necessity brought her to a position where she had to come up with mechanisms that could replicate locomotive parts automatically. These machines made mass production less laborious, saved labor cost, and made production faster. Little labor was needed therefore, and laborers with little skills were given chances to easily work, since all they needed was knowledge of how to use the machine. Later on in 1738, came Oliver Evans who made an automatic grill meal. This made locomotive manufacturing and assembling easier and more of a mechanical process, with minimum labor requirement. (David Needham, Business Studies, 1994 pg 421).
Toyotism better off referred to as lean production principle, was produced to automotive industry, to aid in economizing the production and supply process by the Japanese. The Toyota Company has developed and implemented the idea long enough for the idea to be noted and improvised in other manufacturing domains, sing it seems to have more strengths than shortcomings. Its main idea is to cut on waste, according Lonnie 1947, pg 9, Ohno said in an interview that they, as the Toyota company needed to cut off on non value added waste that occur between the time of production and delivery of their product, vehicles mainly.
Implementation of the Toyotism to CSS will bring with it lots of benefits. The method cuts of cost that is irrelevant, termed by the Japanese as muda, by having keen interest on time and resource saving during production. The company produces vehicle seats both driver and passengers’ seats, but generally from same materials. Their delivery system seems more influenced by time. Due to fordism, loss of employees is encountered. There could also be some losses due to overpayments, so that these employees can afford vehicles and the high quality seats produced by CSS. This is from the general idea that mass production principle is in use.
How CSS will benefit from lean:
Production method improvement:
With the production structure of the runner parts during production, it is clear that production of back frame 1 and that of seat frame 1 are separated. This implies that the employees doing these parts will have to move or wait for the other seat frames to be brought for them to work on them. This is clearly one weakness of fordism approach. With the introduction of toyotism, SMED being part of it, this muda can be done away with. SMED is the single minute change of die. It does not necessarily mean that one minute has to be use to between change of die. It simply implies minimum time loss from one point of production to the other.
Passenger Seat (PS1)
Back Assembly(BA1)Seat Assembly (SA1P)
This means that, production of BF1 and that of SF1 will have to be together to minimize time and resources wastage during motion. The employees dealing with foam should also be together for a simpler flow, which also applies to those working on covers BC1 and SC1. These are recommendations due to specialized nature of the employees who are currently working with there, and are most likely to be specialized in some fields. With time, after some internal training, every employee should be in a position of breaking out of the cocoon of labor specialization. This will create an environment where each employee can reciprocate more than one task, in fact where possibility be, all seat manufacturing and assembling tasks, to avoid unnecessary motion of the employee or movement of the seat in the process of manufacturing looking for teams.
Driver’s Seat (DS1)
Back Assembly(BA1)Seat Assembly (SA1D)
FrameFoamCover FrameFoamCoverelectronics heat
Same should happen with the BA1 seats and SA1D assembly. They have been separated yet the production is almost the same, with some addition of electric and heat pack in the SA1D assembly. This separation is unnecessary if the labor specialization was not done, and all employees who could do frame, foam and cover were capacitated to do the electronic and heat pack installation.
Recommendation on production:
The flow in the passenger’s seat assembly should run from passenger seat to frame as the 2nd step, cover as the third and finally cover. In the front seat assembly diagram, should run from driver’s seat assembly to frame, to foam and cover as the third step. Fourthly there should be finalizing by electronic and heat park installation.
Labor and customer demand:
One of the major problems that CSS is facing is labor loss. This is one area where keen interest should be put. The employees have been divided into operators due to specializations, which is not a bad thing if they get used and enjoy their duties in the assembly process. With lean production principle, the employees are supposed to be maintained. Currently they work for eight hours, take lunch for thirty minutes and have two breaks, each of 15 minutes. This is overworking the employee, though the mass production is paying more.
Challenges that will face CSS in the attempt to implement lean:
Among the challenges that new management will face due to in cooperation of the lean production principle is analysis calculation of takt time. This is the productivity of the employee in relationship to the customers demand. For the CSS case:
Productive hours: 8hrs per shift – 1hr break= 7hrs
2 shift per (6.00am-2.00pm), (2.00pm-10.00pm) and (2.00 pm- 10.00pm)
Available time is 7hrs + 7hrs + 7 hrs= 21hrs
= 21 x 60 x 60 = 75600 sec.
Available working days: 20 days/month
Customer Monthly Requirement: 2520 car sets per month (1 off PS1 1 off DS1)
2520 = 126 set/ day.
Each Assembly on left & right has 1carrier and 2covers.
Customer demands of parts per day
(2 carriers x 126) = 252 Carriers
(4 covers x 63) = 252 Covers
But 2520/ 20 = 126 car sets / day
For a car set per day 1PS1 (126) and (126) 1DS1
TAKT TIME = Available Production time/day
TAKT time = 21x60x60
= 600 sec per set.
TAKT time =600sec per set.
Lean Standard of efficiency in a work is 95%
At 95% target TAKT time = 0.95x600sec =570secs /car set.
CSS need to produce one car set every 570 seconds to stay in step with their customer’s demand. This implies that there is wastage of labor since 30 more seconds are a waste per set, meaning that CSS has to employ more employees to meet the demand in their market.
Another great challenge that has lead CSS to change of management is loss of contracts. Two of their contracts have been lost to international companies. On my view this could be due to insufficient delivery, since they can only deliver one set in 600 seconds, which could be delivered in 570 seconds according to the consumer demand. The lost customers could have evaluated and seen that there is a lot of time that is lost and other companies tendering for the supply can so in time delivery.
A spaghetti diagram (introduction to statistics and lean stigma, book written by Allen T. pg 148) is a flow diagram is a flow diagram that shows the movement of materials during the production process. It is useful in the determination of waste in the lean production principle; since it shows too much unnecessary motion and calculations can be drawn from it on how to reduce movement.
From the current situation of CSS, according to my view, there is a lot of noodling and zigzag movement. The toyotism principle implements a PFA which is a production flow analysis. Here classification of machines and product is done. Machine that are of the same nature are kept in the same segment such as a grinder, a welding machine and drills. In this system, consequent procedures are brought closest to each other. This helps achieve the PFA and in that effort minimize waste.
Goods INGoods Out
Sewing Area (cut & sew)
Manual Assembly (post weld)
Press ShopElectronics Assembly
Diagram: spaghetti diagram showing current layout.
Current state of value stream mapping of CSS:
Value stream mapping is used to show normal flow of process of production while value stream map show flow of data that is required in attempt of satisfying customers’ demands. VSM assists in calculation of flow and in the identification of pitfall points. This can be rectified since this is the purpose of lean production principle. It is thus an essential inclusion tool during the lean principle of production implementation.
Current Information flow:
The logistic department receives a 90/60/30 forecast from customers and downloads the information onto MRP system.
A 4-week forecast is issued to Lonchester steel (main supplier of raw steel for the production) and also to Conventry Cloth (main supplier of cloth for foam and cover).
Logistics release a weekly faxed order to suppliers to secure their order and ensure the materials are available.
Value stream mapping diagram:
Value added time = sum total of cycle times in the operation
= 3 + 3 + 10 + 10 +70 +70 + 2 +240 + 320 + 100 + 90 + 200 = 1118 sec
(Planting was sub-contracted at 30mins, at 2days turn around, therefore
30mins x 60sec =1800sec)
Total time = 2918 sec
Therefore Value added time without planting is =2918sec – 1800sec
=1118 sec per value added
Waste of time and resources is the greatest challenge facing CSS. From the argument of this paper, waste reduction is the only solution. This means what the new management of CSS requires is implementation of a well structured system making use of lean production principle. The current system utilizing the mass production is not bringing production to its maximum. It is wasting a lot and also overspending.
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