The Trubodetal Manufacturing Facility (AO Trubodetal, Chelyabinsk, a United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) Subsidiary) is taking steps to reduce cycle times at all stages of the manufacturing process.
One of the process management projects had specialists working on cutting down on the lead time between getting an order and getting a work order issued as well as on optimizing the product shipping process and improving the so-called "document flow" cycles. Steps undertaken for this project include optimizing the IT infrastructure, streamlining the residual inventory tracking and feedstock reservation processes, creating a shipping scheduling and monitoring system. Thus, the time between product being delivered into storage and shipping out was cut in half on average while request processing time was reduced by 20%.
Another time management process had to do with optimizing the "metal flow" cycle. By improving the shopfloor scheduling system and shop-to-shop transportation, by training workers in new skills and creating a competency matrix that a foreperson can use to make a snap decision to move an employee from one machine to another, the facility was able to reduce its manufacturing cycle for products manufactured to company specs by an average of 20%.
"In a competitive environment, reduced order fulfillment lead times are at least as important as product price or quality. For these two time management projects, we completed a whole series of steps to reduce production cycle time at every stage. This effort continues: there are reserves that we must tap into to improve our efficiency", noted facility Managing Director Dmitri Markov.
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