At DuPont’s Maydown plant in Northern Ireland, the Kevlar Unit applied the foundation best practices of Teamwork, 5S, Visual Management and Focused Improvement, as well as Setup Time Reduction to expand capacity. No stranger to continuous improvement, this site’s challenge was to apply these tools systematically to enable improvements that were sustainable in the long run. They achieved a 50% improvement in production yield, which equated to an annual benefit of over US$1 million.
Having previously started the journey toward operational excellence through the DuPont Production System (DPS), the company opted to implement TRACC to enhance and expand the program. Since 2009, DuPont has deployed TRACC to more than 70 sites in all regions worldwide, with plans to expand the reach to the global footprint of 300+ manufacturing sites. Maydown was the first European site to implement TRACC.
The challenge was to realize the DPS vision of “Everyone, everyday in pursuit of operations excellence, enabling DuPont to win in a dynamic world”. DPS principles include: operating a lean, integrated end-to-end supply chain from suppliers to customers; maintaining standard processes and systems; promoting enabling technologies, tools, and processes; each individual accepting the need for change and responding positively to the challenges it represents; fostering an open, honest and trusting environment; and creating an engaged, flexible and capable workforce at all levels.
Past attempts to reduce lost production time through SMED exercises had proven successful in the short term, but greater gains in focusing on the time to resume full production weren’t achieved.
Having significant experience with Lean and Six Sigma, the Maydown facility was no stranger to continuous improvement programs. The challenge was to apply these tools and approaches systematically while sustaining the benefits.
As a business that can sell all it produces, capacity release became an early focus for the DPS TRACC implementation process, and the Kevlar Task Force identified end-of-run and product changeovers as key opportunities. Past attempts to reduce lost production time through SMED exercises had proven successful in the short term, but greater gains in focusing on the time to resume full production weren’t achieved.
By first applying the TRACC best practices of Teamwork, 5S, Visual Management and Focused Improvement, the Kevlar team at Maydown created a solid foundation for sustaining improvements. Then the team conducted a focused exercise to increase production time by applying Setup Time Reduction (STR) techniques to major changeovers.
Through careful and thoughtful application and sustained by the foundation best practices, the team achieved an almost immediate 50% production yield improvement during changeover periods, sustaining the reduction throughout the year. This equates to a benefit of more than US$1 million annually and represents a significant win for everyone involved.
The Maydown DPS deployment is a compelling story that builds understanding, conviction and alignment. This success in expanding capacity through Setup Time Reduction and sustaining gains through the foundation best practices has demonstrated to this facility and DuPont plants in the region, the power of the DPS TRACC process in translating short-term improvements into sustainable, long-term competitive advantage for the business.
This equates to a benefit of more than US$1 million annually and represents a significant win for everyone involved.
|DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential for a better, safer and healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, it offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation, and apparel.
|Having started the journey toward operational excellence through the DuPont Production System (DPS), the organization partnered with TRACC in January 2009 to enhance and expand the program to all its sites.
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