Employee-driven changes lead to big gains at Stucki de Mexico
Employees from Stucki de Mexico recently developed a new manufacturing process designed to eliminate waste and save assembly time on one of the company’s major products.
The team, which included management, production and maintenance personnel at the Monterrey facility, implemented a one-piece-flow layout of the equipment used to assemble 30″ x 30″ hopper gates.
“The improved layout is the first thing you notice when you walk into the building,” said MIKE WALL, continuous improvement coach for Stucki, who facilitated the event. “The look and feel of the plant is totally different.”
One-piece flow is a continuous improvement concept that refers to the way products move, one piece at a time, from step to step during assembly. Workflow, including the placement of manufacturing equipment, is based on the product and its needs at each step of the process.
Hopper gates are located at the bottom of cars that transport dry commodities such as grain, fertilizer or corn, enabling them to be emptied easily and efficiently. During the four-day event, the team analyzed everything from the location of stations, tools and equipment to the floor markings and work guides provided for personnel who assemble the gates.
“The team gelled quickly during the week,” said Mike. “They grasped the concepts and attacked the move to one-piece flow with a sense of urgency.”
He said the process will extend to other areas of the plant in the coming months.
“We expect dramatic improvements in average output per shift as a result of these changes, along with a major reduction in labor hours per completed gate,” said RAMON REYNAGA, plant manager at Stucki de Mexico.
The training and process improvements at Stucki de Mexico are part of an ongoing program designed to implement continuous improvement principles at all Stucki locations in North America.
Employees at Stucki de Mexico worked together to implement continuous improvement principles at their plant in Monterrey, Nueva Leon. From left: Cesar Loera, Hugo Martinez, Mario Lopez, Raúl Gómez, Manuel Navarro, Bonifacio Toscano, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Jerónimo Lopez, Juan Velazco, Katia Trevino, Moises Arenas, Paulina Nunez, Itzel Martinez, Martin Dominguez, Jonathan Castillo, Ramon Reynaga and Mike Wall.