In January of 2016, the Anchors Value Stream at Trenton installed a new piece of equipment to produce hubs for Power Hub anchors. An increase in throughput and efficiency was needed in the drill and tap operation due to excessive downtime on aging equipment. The prior machine used to produce the hubs for Power Hub anchors experienced several hours of unplanned downtime related to mechanical and electrical breakdowns. After VSD (Value Stream Design) brainstorming, and working with the equipment manufacturer directly, MPS Anchors acquired a second VF-1 with high speed machining and tool changing.

Immediately after the machine was released to production, the Anchor leadership team realized the opportunity to implement a Kanban system taught in Lean Basic. The team reduced WIP inventory and production lead times for hubs by implementing a 2 bin Kanban, which equated to cost savings. This “Pull system” is the first of several Kanbans planned in the department due to the increase in reliability, and reduction in process cycle time that the new CNC offers.

The team, 1st Shift Supervisor, 1st Shift Operator, 1st Shift Lead, 2nd Shift Operator, 2nd Shift Supervisor and Manufacturing Engineer, began working on a Kanban system that would allow the value stream to produce only what is needed for the upstream process. After designing and standardizing future state operations, the team brought the plan to reality! The facility plans to leverage this learning experience and implement several other Kanbans in other value streams in the facility.

Thanks to the Anchor’s Value Stream Manager for allowing the team to work on this project and thanks to the Maintenance Supervisor and MPS maintenance staff for adding supports to ensure a safe rack in the work area!