Value Stream Mapping at ESCO Corp.
The following is a reprint from ESCO Newsletter. It and the images are used with permission from Esco Corporation.
Value Stream Mapping in Port Hope
Esco Manufacturing facilities are learning to utilize the tool of Value Stream Mapping (VSM) to improve the flow (speed) of product through the production process with a focus on the customer’s demand. Port Hope was the site of the first formal Value Stream Mapping Event in January. Here Esco employees from Port Hope, Port Coquitlam, Plant 3, Newton and the Portland Office worked together to create value stream maps and to share their knowledge of the best foundry practices.
The consultant firm of Duggan & Associates provided training in the value stream mapping process, and then sent participants out into the foundry to map the Current State. During this exercise many opportunities for improving the flow of the product were identified. These observations, combined with the application of Lean principles, were used to generate new Future State Maps for Port Hope. Future State Maps provide a vision of how product should move through the plant; something which can be achieved through improvement projects over the next six to twelve months.
A recent improvement event (Kaizen), which took place in early March, tackled 75% of the improvement ideas from the Future State Map of the high value product family. Since implementation of the newly created cell on April 1st, on-time deliveries of high value products have been consistently met. The total cumulative lead time for these products is expected to drop from 37 days to 26 days.
Furthering their Study
In April, team members from various ESCO locations went through advanced training in Mixed Model Value Streams with Duggan & Associates. In this training, the team learned how to create flow through the factory with a high variety of products each with different cycle times and demand rates. They also learned how to establish the factory’s capability to meet customer orders, and created a future state that can connect the factory to the customer. This provides a streamlined Global Value Stream that receives customer orders, builds them in the factory from raw material, and delivers them to the customer quickly.
The net result: Customers will receive their orders in very short lead times, and ESCO will further their strategic competitive advantage in the market place.