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Our Conversion to Cellular Manufacturing

AN INTRO TO CELLULAR MANUFACTURING FOR PERMANENT MOLD ALUMINUM CASTING

WHAT IS IT?

Cellular manufacturing is a method used to produce a product from raw material to finished goods in close proximity to facilitate continuous flow production. We simply travel a few feet throughout our cell to complete a project instead of travelling miles.

SmartDraw Document In this example, we were able to dramatically reduce the total distance travelled by each part from 800 feet to 100 feet, and cut lead time in half from four weeks to just two.
(Before in red. After in blue.)

WHY WE ARE USING THIS METHOD

HOW IT BENEFITS OUR CUSTOMER

HOW IT COMES TO LIFE

LOWERS THE RISK OF INVENTORY ISSUES

With the volume of parts we produce, batch-and-queue leaves the door open for inventory and organizational challenges including miscounted and incorrectly produced parts. Cellular manufacturing decreases our potential of dealing with inventory errors by casting one part at a time until the desired finished goods quantity is reached.

Without excess inventory to manage or store, we have maximized our use of space without the unnecessary costs of producing overages. The less space we use for storage the more space we have for people and equipment to make more product.

DETECTS SUBSURFACE DEFECTS QUICKER

One stand-out challenge of batch-and-queue is the inability to catch subsurface defects as they occur. There have been instances where we wouldn’t find a defect until the products reached machining – by then it was too late and we were left with a high number of defective parts requiring us to recast and cause a delay on finished goods.

unnamedSubsurface defects can occur during the casting process, but a cellular methodology prevents batches of parts from being scrapped or time lost as we get feedback almost immediately.

DEVELOPS CONFIDENT AND CAPABLE EMPLOYEES

We have transitioned from single-skilled to multi-skilled employees who have the ability to maintain and improve our respective cells. Increased knowledge and skill gives us the confidence to educate our colleagues, understand cause-and-effect relationships within cells, and adjust casting parameters almost instantly based off what worked, or didn’t – resulting in reduced product defects.

CREATES ERGONOMICALLY FRIENDLY WORKSPACES

A key component of our transition to cellular manufacturing is identifying injury risks. We determine the cell’s layout by defining the necessary equipment and designing a flow-enhancing workspace that improves ergonomics. Safety is a priority at Custom Castings, and by identifying risks, we’re able to improve upon them and create ergonomically friendly cells that enhance employee experience without causing injury.

 

We’ve brought our plan to life and experienced its benefits firsthand by developing our employees, improving our workspaces, increasing our uptime, and lowering our customers’ costs.

Contact us today at 204.663.9142 or Request a quote