As the site for the new MacLean Curtis facility in Mooresville is being prepared and the building construction begins, the team at MacLean Curtis in Cornelius, NC is taking full advantage of the opportunity to lay out the new facility with a clean slate. Utilizing a series of kaizens as part of a 3P process, the team has identified areas in which improvements can be implemented that will greatly impact the efficiency of the new facility. These areas include the CNC Murata cells, the Multispindle Screw Machine cells, as well as material flow throughout the shop floor.

The ultimate goal of analyzing the individual work cells is to lay them out in such a way that minimizes the amount of time an operator is away from the cell, thus optimizing the operator’s ability to focus on production and quality. Improvements like vended tooling within the cell or additional shared reamer setters are just a couple examples of how this can be achieved.

The first kaizen team consisted of 10 participants and worked towards standardizing the Murata CNC cells. One significant outcome of this initial event was the recommendation to have one operator run four Muratas. In order to make this possible, the group concluded that the operator would need support running the saw that cuts the blanks, loading the rotary stacking tables, and moving finished parts into the dunnage trays.

The following event included 9 participants, including a participant from the Saegertown Plant, which created a standard Multispindle Screw Machine layout.

Due to the fact that material is loaded into these machines via an overhead crane, the location and orientation of the actual Multispindles was a given. As a result, the team was able to design the peripheral equipment within the cell, and determine the ideal locations of every component.

The team had another kaizen event scheduled in February that analyzed material flow throughout the Murata CNC value stream. Certain modifications made during the initial kaizen event resulted in the creation of material flows that are essential to the ultimate success of the updated layout. The final kaizen event took place in March, with the intention of consolidating results of the initial three events.