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Production Line Redesign and Lean Production Processes Leads to 40% Productivity Improvement

Client: Major Global High Technology Manufacturer

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Figure 1 – The Flow production line developed with TXM halved the manufacturing footprint for this key product. TV displays now track progress against Takt time through the day and highlight problems through an Andon system.

Figure 2 – Team leaders and operators were fully engaged in the improvement process through visual management, daily meetings and "yellow tickets" to highlight and track problems.

THE CHALLENGE

A global leader in sophisticated equipment for scientific applications, our client was facing major challenges. Global growth and increasing competition from low cost countries meant that they had identified a need to both increase output and reduce cost in its key product line. Already recognised for its work in implementing lean manufacturing over 20 years, our client did not want the standard ‘Lean 101’ approach but were looking to be challenged with a fresh approach to take their business to cutting edge of lean manufacturing practice. The aim was order to drive out waste, reduce manufacturing footprint and cut lead times. Therefore they turned to TXM.

THE TXM RESPONSE

Working with the production teams, TXM conducted a detailed evaluation of the plant – completing a value stream map of the key product lines, benchmarking the operation against best practice standards in plant layout and conducting a 5S audit to determine the effectiveness of space utilisation. We then coached the team to develop a new plant layout and production concept for the product line incorporating flow production to Takt time, introducing quality assurance at each process step, developing highly efficient sub assembly cells and implementing improved raw material supply processes. Coaching extended over an 18-month period to support implementation of this new production line concept and ensured knowledge was handed over to the client’s team.

THE RESULTS

Working with TXM, the client achieved breakthrough improvements in performance including a 40%

improvement in labour cost per unit – this included:

  • A 80% reduction in final test time.
  • A 90% reduction in packaging time.
  • As well as reductions of over 50% in sub-assembly production times.
  • Production lead-time and work in progress inventory were reduced by 75%.

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