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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
Plants & Processes Simple technology that provides maximum profitability • Quick changeovers with interchangeable printing cassettes • Outstanding print quality • Short web path – low waste • Excellent flexibility • Multi-substrate capability • Combination printing capability • Simple to operate • Wide open access • Job parameter memorization • Automatic register control system (con’t . from page 72) In addition, the Minneapolis flexo facility has formed a cross departmental continuous improvement (CI) team to further engage all employees in the CI process. Data and the guidance from our consultant helped us to determine the areas we would focus on first. One of the first areas we identified we wanted to have a Kaizen event, was the changeover process on our largest press family. The Kaizen evenT Prior to the week-long Kaizen event, we gathered and analyzed data to understand what our baseline was and set our reduction goal. We videotaped the current change- over process, identified the team members that consisted of operators, expeditors and supervisors of that area, as well as a couple of team members that were able to provide an outsider ’s view of the processes. The first day of the event, the team watched the video of the current process and created a spaghetti diagram to show all the movement within the process. Clearly, through this exercise, the team was able to identify areas of waste that could be eliminated. They brainstormed ideas to im- prove upon the process and many of these ideas were taken to the production floor to “try storm” and record time on each of the ideas tried. After several rounds of brainstorming, try storming and data gathering, the team created standard work that rep- resented the processes and provided the most efficient changeover with the highest quality results. We then broke the standard work down into work elements that allow additional resources to help on the changeover when they are available, working in different areas within the press. ConTrolling The ProCess All operators, expeditors, helpers and supervisors were trained on the standard work. For the first several months after the standard work was trained, the supervisors performed au- dits of the individuals. Today, the internal audit team continues to perform periodic reviews. To date, approximately 75 percent of all employees have served as auditors on this team. This is another way in which we are able to engage the majority of our people in the continuous improvement process. Monthly metrics help us to track our improvements and identify where additional focus is needed. In this particular reduction event we have been able to achieve and sustain a 50 percent improvement over the last two years. n ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Ann Warzecha is project manager at Smyth Minneapolis. She has seven years of experience in the printing industry serving in customer service, sales support and project management roles. She is a Six Sigma Green Belt and is currently the Lean project manager for the Min- neapolis flexographic printing division. Kim Madigan has a Bachelors of Science degree in Art from UW-RF. She is a 20-plus year veteran of the printing industry and is the director of corporate color for Smyth Com- panies Inc. Her responsibilities include developing processes to support color management in all plants, including flexog- raphy and litho sheetfed. She is also an active member of the Twin Cities Flexo Association. www.flexography.org august 2010 FLEXO 79 August2010_mech.indd 79 8/13/10 1:23 PM
Sustainable Summer 2010