May 20, 2020
Last year, ASEPT took an initiative and started with a World Class Manufacturing (WCM) project where the appointed project team focus was on the time to assemble a complete pump mechanism. Since this WCM project was the first of its kind at ASEPT, the first and most challenging activity was to collect the data. We started out simple with an excel sheet, a stopwatch and a whiteboard. We set a target to reduce the assembly time by 30% by the end of 2019.
We then mapped the manufacturing process and was quickly able to identify where we should be focusing our energy to make the greatest improvement.
The filling of our pumps was the greatest contributor to our loses to 38%. Once the loss was identified we applied “the 5-why method” to the identified problem and was able to find that the root cause of our loss was the equipment.
We had two options, do a major face-lift on old equipment or replace it, we decided to replace the equipment with a more modern unit. Thanks to a brilliant engineer team from Deeng AB, a local engineering company, we were able to get a new filler in place within a few weeks.
The day came and the excitement was at its fullest. It was now time to validate the new machine. It was a simple plug and play solution. Literally plug in the power and run. The results were incredible, our filling time dropped 73% instead of the targeted 30%. The project was directly a great success!
As fun as it was to be a part of the development and implementation of a new piece of equipment which crushed our target, it was also very exciting to be able to apply the basic the WCM tools in real life. We have continued to apply the methods to improve our production even more and have been able to attack and additional 20% loss. We are hooked on WCM and will continue to find improvement areas that will help us grow stronger over the years.