Matric is in the initial stages of implementing a more “lean” approach to its manufacturing operations. Efforts began in December, 2005, when two instructors from the Northwest Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) gave an 8 hour course on Lean 101 to 25associates. Among these associates were the president, general operating manager, operational heads, supervisors, team leaders, and technical process engineers. Matric has more recently introduced the abbreviated course to 15 other associates on the manufacturing floor. Plans are in place to add the abbreviated course to the formal training of all associates at Matric.
Matric has since implemented some of the core building blocks of lean on the manufacturing floor in specific areas. atric has to adapt these building blocks to their high mix, low volume manufacturing environment. The following are some examples of how we are accomplishing this:
- Wire Prep – Matric has initiated a wire prepping visual pull system to eliminate multiple setups.
- SMT BOM Restructure – Matric has restructured bill of materials to allow us to run desired higher quantities in the surface mount process while having the ability to assemble desired smaller quantities of the through hole process for mixed technology assemblies.
- POUS – “Point of Use Storage” Inventories are being utilized on items that are manufactured repeatedly. This eliminates the need for the warehouse to pull and stock kits on a daily/weekly basis.
- Masking/De-masking for Coating – Matric has been researching andimplementing ways to reduce the labor intensive mask/de-mask coating prep process. Solutions are being implemented to help streamline the process.
- Batch Reduction – Releasing jobs to the manufacturing floor in smaller weekly batches rather than larger monthly batches.
- Cellular Manufacturing – Designed cells for manufactured products that are constant, repetitive, or take special skills.
Matric is committed to using the core building blocks of “lean” throughout the organization to reduce and eliminate the daily non-value added (NVA) activities that decrease throughput and increase WIP inventories. The reduction/elimination of these NVA activities will enable Matric to better service their customers.