Analysis and efficiency of foundry production


7+1 waste
spaghetti diagram

Time flies very fast and non-updated operations can stagnate and stunt. Inadequate data collection, waste, long downtimes, dismal machine condition, non-compliance with OHS, process instability and many other industrial ills start to manifest themselves. This too is a familiar challenge for the experts at Paul Advisory. In one foundry company, the dismal state of affairs became the reason for a change in management. The new management realized the need for change and launched a major production renewal project. The place to start was, as always, by changing the mindset in people's heads.

Staff activation

To get management and staff "in the game", we used the "Game for Result" method. Through the game "Look for your potential - eliminate waste", we prepared the staff for the upcoming changes. We then defined the terms of reference for the consulting project "Streamlining the blasting and separation workplace".

We started the project by collecting production data (production and non-production operation times, batch size...). To map the production operations, we used the methods of worker imaging, chronometry and spaghetti diagram. Subsequently, a long-term production data collection system was implemented. The analysis of the data obtained at the blasting workplace showed the following shortages: different machine times for the same type of product; time waste - movements, transport, waiting, repairs; poor condition of machines due to neglected maintenance; unacceptable work ergonomics; workopace dissray and untidiness; non-compliance with the length of breaks and end of working hours; OSH violations, etc.

In the separation workplace, the main causes of inefficiency were defined as:

  • excessive handling
  • absence of procedures for reloading machines and necessary tools
  • major non-compliance with the length of breaks and end of shift/working hours

The problem areas were addressed by standardising the workplace. As a first step, the workplace was cleared of unnecessary items. This was followed by standardisation in the form of workplace layouts, cleaning standards, maintenance and machine lubrication.

Quantified results:

  • An unloading mechanism was installed on the blast machines, which reduced the weight handled by 50% and the time required to handle castings by 60%.
  • The introduction of SMED and the provision of a separation workstation reduced the time for reloading the machines by 50%.
  • Machine time standards were established for each type of casting, reducing blasting time by an average of 25%.
  • The annual savings due to the above measures, together with the emphasis on compliance with standards and work discipline, were estimated at CZK 1,5 million for the two sites. 

The project is currently running at other workplaces, namely at the rough blasting and wax model production sites. Each site is being screened along with long-term data collection and standardisation is being introduced.

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