This study shows how introducing a pump casing finishing cell improved a large factory’s use of land, labour and capital, eliminating traditional functional demarcation and increasing capacity.
Value stream mapping traditional pump casing “finishing” activities confirmed the existing process as: -
- Machine Casing - roughing out - Machine shop
- Weld casing piping attachments - Welding booths
- Re-machine case ready for hydrostatic test - Machine shop
- Assemble and hydro-test casing - Assembly shop
- Finish machine casing - Machine Shop
- Grind and detail the case internals - Detail area
- Shot blast casing ready for pain - Shot Blast
- Paint casing - Paint shop
The current state map identifies 720 metres of travel across 4 departments using 15 crane lifts. Casings were held for 1 day in each department (average one working week per casing). Following coaching and discussion, supervisors decided the responsibility of the casing production process should be assigned to the machine shop supervisor and not be shared among departmental leaders. They agreed the machine shop would become a casing finishing cell with welding, grinding, test, shot blast and paint facilities. This defined ownership improved visibility and flow, reduced travel by 83%, crane lifts by 80%, increased site safety and capacity whilst reducing cost and time.
Summary: Restructuring flow and ownership of tasks across any organisation (SME or larger) can increase throughput, visibility, communication, quality and safety.