"Improving manufacturing and distribution operations since 1958
More than 800 projects completed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia"

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Case Studies

Business: Producer of Rubber and Thermoplastic Parts and Assemblies for Japanese Auto Manufacturers in the U.S. mainly for Honda

Nature of Work or Scope and Results

This Japanese owned company is a major automotive industry supplier of under hood assemblies. Most of the company's component products are formed from thermo-plastic or rubber and are typically either injection molded or blow molded.

The company had reached capacity in its existing plant and was operating in a traditional, batch oriented mode, employing centralized process villages or departments within its plant. Space was severely cramped and the company had been forced to lease off-site space to store raw materials and purchased parts. The company was receiving pressure from its major customers and its Japanese headquarters to reduce costs and speed up processing via the implementation of lean manufacturing and cellular production techniques. Due to business expansion the company decided to approximately double the size of its existing facility. This expansion formed the opportunity to relayout the plant and convert it to "lean" where possible and feasible.

The Japanese management team engaged SCG to:

(a) review all of their production operations and recommend lean cellular production techniques where appropriate,

(b) train their engineers, managers, and implementation team members on the design and implementation of lean and cellular manufacturing techniques,

(c) develop a new and expanded plant layout that would yield:

  1. faster order processing times
  2. reduced work-in-process inventories
  3. improve plant safety conditions
  4. improve quality
  5. reduce shop floor congestion
  6. reduce materials handling costs
  7. reduce scrap and rework
  8. streamline parts and product flow
  9. improve associate morale

Several alternative plant layouts were developed by SCG. A FactoryFLOW software analysis was used by SCG to simulate the improvements and the expected cost savings. The project was successfully completed with the goals of the project achieved.

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