Leadership Program Students to Help Company Streamline Manufacturing Process

Posted by Simone Erskine on Aug 15, 2018 1:53:21 PM

This is an original article written by Tim Crosby, Communication and Marketing Strategist. 

Students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Leadership Development Program don’t learn leadership out of a book; they learn it in the real world.

The latest batch of incoming students, along with the upper classmen, will again demonstrate this approach next week when they help a company reorganize part of its Chicago-area facility to improve efficiency and profitability.

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How Efficient is Your Quick Changeover?

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jul 18, 2018 9:36:00 AM

What can you accomplish with the time saved on machine or product setup? A quick changeover plan or Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) is a lean manufacturing technique intended to improve process efficiencies. Let’s take a look at how quick changeover is applied on the racetrack.

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Spotlight on Success: Focusing on flow and maximizing space to increase employee and customer satisfaction

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Apr 30, 2018 8:13:00 AM

Doran Scales Inc.  |  20 employees  |  www.doranscales.com

Doran Scales is a digital scale manufacturer located in St. Charles, Illinois.

SITUATION

As competition began to grow and internal processes became more cluttered, Doran Scales faced the realization that they could no longer operate as an “80’s” manufacturing company – living off of high profits, consistent customers, and minimal demand for quality products. Mark Podl, CEO, knew the operation needed significant improvement and by starting with the shop floor operations he could begin the transformation to an up-to-date, lean and quality-minded, 21st century organization.

SOLUTION

Mark first engaged IMEC in setting the framework for how they would approach and prioritize the many improvements through education on the fundamentals of lean manufacturing. By then identifying the need for a shop floor “clean-up,” the Doran Scales team alongside IMEC laid out a plan for an improvement to the physical plant layout through several Kaizen events. By streamlining manufacturing processes and organizing tools and people in a more efficient flow, the team was able to kick start the journey to lean – each individual owning their incremental improvements and committing to the new way of working. “Pushing past the initial stigma of needing to be ‘fixed’ was difficult for some,” said Podl, “but having the guidance of individuals [IMEC] with experience has been extremely helpful. They provided us with the support we needed to get from point A to point B.”

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The most powerful but least-used tool to inspire efficiency

Posted by Rick Winkler on Apr 25, 2018 4:12:18 PM

Written by Rick Winkler, IMEC Technical Specialist 

Throughout my 20+year journey with continuous improvement, I’ve helped individuals experience a wide array of necessary “tools” for executing lean continuous improvement (CI). But none are perhaps more integral for success than standard work.

Standard work is likely the most powerful—but least used—lean tool available for individuals and organizations hoping to make change and inspire efficiency improvements. By documenting the current best practice, standard work creates the baseline for kaizen or continuous improvement events. It is important to understand that the baseline standard created initially is expected to be improved upon (hence continuous improvement); the new standard becomes the baseline for further improvements, and on and on.

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Spotlight on Success: Leveraging lean for an organization-wide efficiency transformation

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Apr 24, 2018 11:34:34 AM

Advantage Components, Inc.  |  60 employees  |  www.aciwires.com

ACi is a contract cable and wire harness manufacturer located in Joliet, Illinois.

SITUATION

In early 2014, Advantage Components, Inc. (ACi) began to see exponential growth in sales and subsequent production. But with space constrained in their current facility, the company knew it was time to make room in the existing facility or expand beyond their four walls. ACi leadership, had previous experience working with the principles of lean manufacturing and were interested in committing to increasing efficiencies in the current space before committing to a new facility. Through a quick online search of experts in the field of lean, ACi discovered IMEC.

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It's Not Their Fault - People vs. Processes

Posted by Scott Czysz on Nov 16, 2017 2:48:51 PM

Written by Scott Czysz, IMEC Technical Specialist

Over the last couple months, I've observed a recurring theme with a few of the companies I am working with: a frustration with "them" (co-workers, factory workers, etc.) not doing what they are supposed to be doing.  As I dig deeper, I have found the problem lies within:

  • Poorly designed (or never designed) processes,
  • Poor or no process documentation,
  • Poor or no training for the people that are doing the process every day, and, not surprisingly,
  • Poor results.
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You Need Lean Maintenance to Make Lean Manufacturing Succeed!

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Sep 27, 2017 1:59:21 PM

Written by Lawrence Bouvier, CMRP
Vice President – Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions

Is equipment downtime holding you back from achieving Lean Manufacturing success?

We all have heard of the seven wastes addressed in Lean Manufacturing, but did you ever consider that if you applied similar principles to equipment health, you’d want a discipline to create Lean Maintenance?

Overproduction, Inventory and Waiting are three of the seven lean wastes that can come as a result of equipment failures.  A good maintenance process will keep these to minimum levels.  So, how can we achieve this?  The only way is to minimize the amount of maintenance and repair that we perform on machines!

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Benchmarking Report: How you stack up on 5S

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Apr 8, 2015 10:00:09 AM

Written by Anthony Manos, Lean Champion with 5S Supply

 

The Very Best of 5S

Want to know how your organization stacks up?

This in-depth benchmarking report looks at techniques, practices and principles for 5S Workplace Organization and Standardization. It sheds light on how organizations have successfully created a 5S system and the obstacles and solutions they used to overcome them. 

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Time is money - Quick Response Manufacturing Feb 3

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Jan 13, 2015 9:36:22 AM

Time is money. QRM means reducing lead times for tasks throughout your company, allowing you to manufacture products for specific customer needs. The result is quick response, improved quality, and lower cost.

Rick Bastian, Chairman and CEO of Blackhawk Bank is pleased to introduce local manufacturers to the innovative concepts of Dr. Rajan Suri, Founder of QRM (Quick Response Manufacturing). On February 3rd, join Blackhawk Bank and area partners for an afternoon seminar that takes a closer look at QRM.

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Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Workshop

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Sep 5, 2014 11:25:45 AM

The 2014 Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Workshop is happening in Moline on September 9, 10, and 11th - Be sure to stop by and say "hi" to IMEC! The fourth in a series, the 2014 Workshop will address the latest developments in applied advanced processing techniques. Presentations by leading researchers from academia, industry, and government will focus on applied research suitable for implementation in manufacturing within industry and government agencies.

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