Lean manufacturing was implemented on a production line to resolve unmet volume and quality targets.
The production line utilized a batch build process to assemble a single-use medical device. There were several processes where the assembly flow crossover, which made in-process inventory difficult and confusing to track. As a result, in-process defects were not caught in time, leading to high final test failures and scrap rate.
IMPLEMENT LEAN MANUFACTURING
The production line flow was reconfigured and streamlined to a single piece build process, eliminating crossover flows and redundant tasks. We also rebalanced the line load by redistributing assembly tasks between operators at each assembly station. In-process quality checks were implemented in critical processes to eliminate defect escape. Finally, visual quality standards and checks were enforced at each assembly station.
The lean manufacturing program implementation results were dramatic. The production line throughput exceeded their volume target by approximately 50% and finished product defects were reduced to well within six sigma. Defects were caught within assembly stations and at inline quality checks which further increased efficiency and reduced scrap costs. In the end, the production line was not only able to meet volume and quality targets, but increased volume targets due to stronger customer demands were quickly and easily met.