Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 4

EDITORIAL

Low-Cost, Zero-Meeting
Improvements

P

lant tours are high on my list of things
to do. They feed my natural curiosity to
learn how things are made and the roles
Gary L. Parr
people play in manufacturing. I also get
Editorial Director
to learn about the little things that people do that
often make a big difference.
Recently I hit the mother lode and was able to
tour the plants of three different manufacturers in
one day in Wausau, WI. (Yes, I got my steps in.)
While all of these plants had reliability programs
established or in the works, I was intrigued by what
was being accomplished without lengthy meetings
with management and accountants and hours of
planning and training.
I started the day at Wausau Window and Wall
Systems. While touring their impressive LEED
Silver facility,
we stopped at a
bulletin board on
which were posted
several sheets of
paper. They were
the submission
forms for an
ongoing improvement program.
The initiative
allows any worker
to make an
improvement in his
Linetec moves massive amounts of aluminum
or her work area at
in short periods of time. To accomplish that,
any time, provided
they look to improve efficiency at all levels.
the cost to the
company is $50 or
less. Filling out a simple form is all that's required.
In the past year, the company has realized a savings
of $200,000 from this simple employee-driven
program.
My next stop was at Kolbe Windows & Doors.
This company is a craftsmen-based manufacturer
that does primarily custom work and uses very
little automation. But the company is always trying
to improve its operations. Through its 5S program
(Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain)
and general management of daily improvement
programs, the company encourages team members
to organize and improve their own workstations.
Specific improvements that have been implemented include:

4|

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

* Shadow boarding all needed tooling. Kolbe
craftsmen use a lot of hand tools and this timehonored technique provides immediate visual
feedback as to what tools they have, where each
belongs, and, most important, if something is
missing.
* Using Kanban inventory-control systems for
things as simple as bins of screws. Keep two bins.
When one is empty, use the next and take the time
to refill the empty bin at the end of shift.
* Focusing on safety and ergonomics. They
place as many things as possible/practical at
the point of use to avoid bending and reaching.
One example is using cord reels to feed air lines
from the ceiling to the point of need. In addition
to efficiency, if an angled air line is observed, it
indicates that something happened in that area and
there may be a quality concern.
My third stop of the day was the Linetec factory
where they specialize in efficiency. The company
paints or anodizes aluminum extrusions for a wide
range of customers, turning most material around
within 24 hours.
As part of Linetec's 5S approach, personnel use a
3-30-3 guideline when setting up or reorganizing a
new area. The guideline requires that all items used
regularly throughout the day be within a 3-sec.
reach. Items used once a day should be within a
30-sec. reach and items used once a week should be
in hand within 3 min.
To improve emergency-equipment visibility,
Linetec personnel painted red, to a height of 15 ft.,
all columns that hold fire extinguishers. This was
done in phases, required very few meetings, and
the only costs were paint and time.
One other inexpensive practice I noticed in all
three factories-they keep the facilities clean and
organized. Yes, there probably was a little extra
tidying up because I was there, but it's not hard
to tell if a place has been cleaned for guests or if
it's normal behavior. My sense was it's normal
behavior in all three plants and we all know that
keeping things organized and clean makes operations more efficient and, above all, safer.
Maybe these are some low-cost, zero-meetings
ideas you can implement in your operation. Or
possibly you have an idea and would like to share
it. If so, send it to me and I'll do the sharing. MT

gparr@maintenancetechnology.com
SEPTEMBER 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology September 2017

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
Bionics Will Drive Future Factories
Filling The Skills Gap
Virtual Simulation and Plant Safety
Update Grounding Knowledge
Don't Overlook STF Hazards
Alternative LOTO Measures
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Compressed Air Filters
IR Inspections
Crack The Lube-Fault Code
DCIM Drives Efficiencies
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Ad
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Bionics Will Drive Future Factories
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 14
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 15
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Filling The Skills Gap
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 18
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 19
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Virtual Simulation and Plant Safety
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 22
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Update Grounding Knowledge
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 25
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Don't Overlook STF Hazards
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 27
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 28
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Alternative LOTO Measures
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 30
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 31
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 32
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Compressed Air Filters
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 35
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - IR Inspections
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 37
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Crack The Lube-Fault Code
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 39
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 40
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - DCIM Drives Efficiencies
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 42
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover4
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