Refrigerator Door Fabricator Uses Pulsed TIG to Double Production Without Adding Staff or Equipment
H.L. Lyons (Louisville, Kentucky) helped U.S. appliance manufacturers kick-start the “stainless steel revolution” that has made its mark on almost every commercial and residential kitchen in the country. A major appliance manufacturer approached the company in the early 1990s to skin the doors of a refrigerator with stainless steel—an idea that originated at a European trade show. The prototypes were a success and the manufacturer made a gross underestimation by stating that “maybe we’ll sell 20 of these per month.”
H.L. Lyons helped U.S. appliance manufactures kick-start the stainless steel revolution touching almost every commercial and residential kitchen in the country.
That number soon became 400 per week. Then it rose to 2,000 per week. As the demand kept rising, Keith Lyons, co-owner, H.L. Lyons, kept looking for new and improved ways to weld and polish stainless steel efficiently. It wasn’t until Lyons commissioned brand new Dynasty® 300 DX AC/DC TIG/Stick welding inverters from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. that the company realized its optimum productivity in stainless steel refrigerator door production: 12,000 doors per week. The new system has cut welding time in half, reduced finishing time by a third and allowed each welder to finish almost twice as many doors per shift.
GE’s Newest Dishwasher Production Lines Exemplify Changing Culture and Strategyleverage Lean manufacturing principles to reduce the time it takes to make each dishwasher; to reduce operational costs and unnecessary work for employees to improve productivity while increasing quality.
Relying on a new culture of continuous improvement and a collaborative work environment, fostered by Lean manufacturing principles, GE took employees from every discipline needed to design, build and operate the new lines and co-located them in one location so communication could be instantaneous and fluid. Each member of the team had a voice and a role—from engineering, to advanced manufacturing to the operators who assemble the products – all were on one team with a common goal – to improve the processes and products.
The dishwasher Lean team came up with solutions to reduce production time and improve the production process and work environment for the production workers. To accomplish this, the team:
Reduced the size of the new dishwasher lines by over 50 percent, compared to traditional assembly lines, which reduced production time, increased efficiency and improved quality. Shorter lines also allow problems to be identified and solved more quickly as well as improve communication.
Significantly decreased transportation time within the plant by repositioning the new assembly lines in the back of the factory closer to staging areas for parts, such as dishwasher racks and tubs, and closer to where other parts come into the factory.
Included production workers in the designing of work stations and processes, improving efficiency and ergonomics by reducing parts inventories and movements to complete tasks; in developing new job instructions to help eliminate quality issues and improve safety; and in improving the timely supply of parts to work stations. As a result, the overall production time per unit was reduced by about 65 percent.
Hoshizaki Boosts Productivity And Cuts Costs With Continuous Improvement System
PEACHTREE CITY – The Peachtree City, Ga. facility of Hoshizaki America — a manufacturer of commercial ice makers, dispensers, refrigerators and related products — recently cut its costs by more than $7 million and increased productivity by 75 percent through implementation of a continuous improvement system.
Studying processes at Hoshizaki
Derek Woodham (right), Georgia Tech’s west Georgia regional manager, confers with Hoshizaki’s Jim Quo (left) and Kevin Sanders at the company’s facility in Peachtree City.
The impressive results, produced with assistance from Georgia Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), came about after the company had labored for a number of years to sustain a continuous improvement system. These earlier improvement efforts had focused on large projects using a team-based approach, which highlighted both the existence of activities that didn’t add value and the invisible walls between departments. For competitive reasons, the company felt the need for improvement was critical.
Light Electrical Industry in India - Productivity Report - NPC
Innovative Solutions for Refrigerator Manufacturing
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