Even the most recent process improvements present opportunities to save more time and cost.
When asked to visit a sister company to review a newly installed component wash facility we identified an additional saving over 2000 hours per year by changing the way the components were picked at the stores.
1) The wash operator is issued a picking list for all parts needed to build a mechanical assembly (pump).
2) The operator takes an empty basket to the stores and fills it with the listed parts.
3) The basket of parts is taken back to the wash facility.
4) All parts are transferred to a frame with dedicated hangers suitably spaced to ensure a thorough cleaning.
5) After washing, the parts are transferred from the dedicated hangers back to the basket.
7) The basket of parts is taken to assembly
8) The parts are removed from the basket and used for pump assembly.
Future State - Eliminate the basket:
The operator takes the dedicated frame to the stores, hangs the parts on the frame and uses this frame to deliver the components to the wash facility and then onto assembly. This saves 5 minutes per assembly.
As the company produces over 25,000 pumps per year the total saving exceeds 2100 hours, (one operator year). This reduces the cost of the business by over £25K per year.
Summary: Incremental cost savings over large volumes provide major benefits to any business, (SME or larger).