The MacLean Curtis Mooresville plant is adding new parts as part of the automotive shift from 6 speed transmission to 8 and 10 speeds. One such part was a similar, but not identical, sun gear.

This new part followed the same process steps as two others, but since the sizing, particularly to OD, was different, it required significant changes in the automation, as the change was made from one part to the next.

Team Attention to New Changeover Results in Time Savings

This cell had required a changeover, but it only required a material change. This new changeover took over 4.25 hours prior to the team’s focused effort.

The team came up with 6 key items that would take 12-15 hours of engineering and maintenance time to implement.

4 of the 6 tasks have been implemented and the changeover is down to 52 minutes. The next two will take it down another 20 minutes.

“I was surprised to learn how much time was cut out of our changeover process just by finding a proximity switch position where no adjustment was required. This change did not require a new design or a capital investment, but we were able to take almost an hour out of our changeover time.

My favorite part of this process is that we were able to decrease the downtime every time we did a changeover. To see immediate results from our work has been rewarding.”

Manufacturing Engineer

Further Improvements on the Horizon

Like anything, practice will bring further improvements as the team discovers new items to improve.

Special thanks was extended to the operators, engineering personnel, and the third shift supervisor for the creativity and teamwork required for these changes.