As part of the design-build construction of a new manufacturing facility, our Lean Manufacturing Group helped incorporate process flow and Lean manufacturing techniques. The group also developed the automated material handling strategy, packaging/palletizing, machine and tool selection, automated coating system, robotic assembly, and process ergonomic workstation design.
One challenge was that existing operations were in 16 buildings spread across multiple city blocks, creating a disjointed process flow and lack of inventory control. Much of the manufacturing equipment was more than 20 years old.
The team developed an integrated manufacturing plan based on manufacturing data. This allowed the team to determine the correct machine mix and count to support the growing demand for the company’s products. We developed robotic and automated solutions that reduced touch labor, improved material flow, increased quality and reduced product lead time. The team addressed material handling and supply chain issues through proposing an automated material handling system. This system includes material handling equipment as well as a warehouse management control system. This allowed Kimray to reallocate resources that supported the warehouse into other areas of their business.
This data and new manufacturing strategy allowed the team to improve the overall flow and floorspace required for the proposed facility. The goal was to consolidate operations from the 16 buildings into one cohesive operating system.
The initial proposal was for 250,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Our Lean evaluation and process improvement reduced the space requirement to 80,000 square feet, an estimated reduction of 68 percent. The automated material handling solutions will reduce labor costs in the warehouse by 90 percent. An evaluation of manufacturing equipment and process reduced the required capital investment for new equipment by 75 percent and lead time by 89 percent.