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FLEXO Magazine : November 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES documented after the improvements were implemented. In 2004, this improvement was reviewed by the Printing Industry of Illinois/Indiana and the GRC was given an award for increased productivity. A key indicator of success was demonstrated when the team re-assembled in 2006 to run a second-round of analysis. Remember, Lean is really about engaging employees in continu- ous improvement. This time, the group expanded the scope to include pre-staging in the ink tech area. An additional 20 percent improvement was achieved. Currently, Nix is preparing for a third-round of SMED analysis, which will include the skills and tools in unwind and windup required to run the press faster. The new metric being tracked— and targeted for improvement—is Downtime Average (DTA). DTA is the sum of changeover time and downtime during runs. Dan Bridget is quality manager at the GRC. He has been with T-I for two years, but consulted with GRC when it prepared for and obtained ISO 9001-2000 certification in 2002. He was also involved in GRC’s successful bid to become the only certified pre- print supplier in North America for Anheuser-Busch in 2003. He is now a champion for GRC’s continuous improvement activities. He insisted, “It’s important to see the big picture, to get folks to think ‘Why am I doing this activity?’” Both Bridget and Nix are excited about new objectives for in- creased press uptime. They hope this continuous improvement activity will lead to the next increase in capacity and fixed cost productivity. If you wander around GRC these days, you can see examples of shadow boards (a simple visual management technique to make sure things are where they should be), you note that tools are located close to the work areas, where they are used (to avoid wasting time walking around and searching), you can see uptime posted in the work areas and shared with each press crew (so everyone knows how he/she is doing), and you hear or see refer- ences to Wastes, 5 Whys, PDCA, and the Vital Few made by opera- tors and management, alike. Congratulations to Terry, Gary, Irv, Dan, and all the GRC employees for making elements of Lean work in Indianapolis, without even calling it “Lean.” You can find out more about the services and solutions GRC offers on the T-I website: http://www. templeinland.com/CorrugatedPackaging/ServicesAndSolutions/ VISUAL WORKPLACE AT PALL Pall Corp. is the largest and most diverse filtration, separations, and purifications company in the world. Its customers have a common enemy: contamination. Pall filters are used in flexo plate processers and ink manufacturing processes. They may also be used at your printing presses. At their Filterite Division in Timonium,MD, just outside of Baltimore, Bob Giddings is the continuous improvement man- ager. Giddings hosted a tour for participants in the Envelope Manufacturers Association’s (EMA) 2007 Emerging Leaders/ Management and Manufacturing Institute. The purpose was to see manufacturing techniques used outside the printing industry that could provide ideas for implementation by envelope manu- facturers. The connection was made through Jay Young of Oles Envelope. Oles and Pall participate in a Lean Manufacturing con- sortium located in the Baltimore,MD, area. One element of Lean that Pall has refined and ingrained in its manufacturing areas is Visual Management. Each assembly and quality cell has goals communicated to the entire work- force. Performance in five categories (Safety, Quality, Delivery, Inventory, and Productivity) is documented on a daily basis for everyone to see. Operators make notes each hour about what’s happening in the cell. Anyone—operators and plant manage- ment—can get a quick and accurate assessment of status by just looking at the highly graphic metrics posted in each area. This kind of system helps in several ways. For starters, every employee can see the goals and metrics considered critical by the business. The simple process of having employees update performance charts is a constant reminder, and, frankly, provides motivation for people to get involved in the effort to make im- provements required to achieve the goals. When management is looking for volunteers to undertake Kaizens (special events targeting changes) it has a ready supply of people who know the baseline performance and why the effort has been organized. Pall also has a nice Lean Management System that includes hourly updates at each cell, reviews at the beginning of each shift for each department, plant-wide daily walk-arounds, and weekly reviews that focus on root-cause analysis and corrective actions from the prior week. Each level involves an appropriate cross-functional group of production, quality, engineering, and maintenance people. The purpose of these reviews is to identify incidents as soon as possible and as close to the source as pos- sible, do root-cause analysis, and involve everyone in the PDCA (plan do check act) cycle on continuous improvement. Learn more about Pall Corp. on their website: http://www.pall.com/default.asp?level0=home 5S AT DUPONT The DuPont Parlin site manufacturers most of the Cyrel® flexo plates used in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia. There are many product types and formats (ie, sizes). What customers probably real- ize is that there are more packing materials in the box than plates. They serve the purpose of ensuring the plates arrive undamaged and ready to use. One challenge Parlin faces relates to storing, moving, accessing, and using the various pack- ing materials when called for in the plate manufactur- ing process. This challenge is magnified by the many different sizes required. Packing material ware- housing has always been a problem. Different materi- als arrive at different times from different vendors and have to be stored someplace. Production schedules are not fixed until close to the time of manufacture. Finding materials requires time by finishing operators. And there are always materials www. f le xography. org NOVEMBER 2008 FLEXO Visual management. 55