Continuous Improvement Manufacturers
EY Technologies: Changing a Culture at the Company
Manny Jerome, Chief Operating Officer at EY Technologies USA, is excited and pleased with the opportunity Lean training has provided. Funded by a Department of Defense grant and facilitated by the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), this training has helped the company embrace a culture of innovation in production. The company's transition began with a basic Lean training (the Le101), Value Stream Mapping, and a Kaizen event. Then they applied for, and have since been awarded, a Workforce Training Fund grant to continue the improvement work throughout their entire facility.
"This is what it (this kind of program) is all about," exclaimed Jerome. "The DoD wants to know that they have made a good investment in us. And they sure have."
Lean, VSM, Kaizen
A cross functional team of employees participated in the first Le101 basic Lean training event. Jerome explained that they chose people from the areas where the VSM and Kaizen would be done to help them prepare for those events and later be able to share knowledge with other employees. Participants expressed their pleasure that the company was making the effort to improve and include them in the process. Many employees have been with EY for 20 years or more and some felt that there was nothing they could learn to do any better…that they did not need any of this "Lean." Ultimately, even the naysayers were astounded with what could be accomplished and became believers.
The VSM was done in the Hot Melt Adhesive Coating area where they apply adhesive coatings on the yarn. The team analyzed the process as it was currently done. The VSM was very intense at first, with a room full of people with strong opinions trying to talk over each other. With the guidance of MassMEP's Rick Bowie and consultant Jose Garcia (who provides training in Spanish and Portuguese) they slowly began to gel as a team and became a cohesive unit. By the end of the event they were utilizing the information from the mapping to help identify and prioritize areas where Kaizen improvement activities could be done. "Everyone was eager to go out on the floor and "make things happen!" said Jerome.
Big Savings & Reductions in Time
"The Kaizen went so smoothly," Jerome added. "People embraced the process and got so involved that they even started making changes on the fly, which is exactly what I was hoping would happen." There were so many Kaizens that stemmed from that one VSM event that there have been many, many significant improvements," said Jerome.
"One of the most significant things EY has seen to date came from the Kaizen that was done to improve changeover downtime on the winders. There are 3 lines with 30 winders on the ends of each which wind the coated, cooled yard on to tubes. During changeover all 30 winders and their gears and such have to be changed. This normally took 8-10 hours. Through the Kaizen activities, time was reduced to 1-2 hours - a decrease of approximately 83%! The value added time on the process has increased by about 75% as well.
"Now, we are able to manufacture product for that much additional time so our productivity improvement is significant. Originally, we had planned to make purchases and updates to these machines to try to improve our efficiency. Now we no longer need to. This has saved EY about half a million dollars since we will only need to make some small changes and upgrades now at a cost of about $70,000."
Everyone at EY is anxious to take this improvement process throughout the entire plant and see results like these across the board. They plan to work in extrusion and other areas just as they did in Hot Melt by starting with the basic Lean training and then the VSM and Kaizens. They have seen this formula work.
To help sustain the improvements, employees posted a board in the Hot Melt area to track changeover times. If they ever go over the 2 hours, work stops on the spot and a kaizen is done to locate the problem and develop a solution. "One of the most amazing things is to see the way people have embraced this," said Jerome." They are being heard, their opinions and ideas are taken seriously, evaluated, and implemented. They feel valued and this has never happened here before. This process has forced us all to communicate, share ideas and opinions and work as a team."
EY Technologies is happy to have additional grant money coming to help them continue improvement efforts. Everyone is on board and eager to get moving!
|Mass MEP's Rick Bowie and Jose Garcia are awesome to work with and very cool people. They really engaged and energized the employees, gave us great tools to use here and made believers out of everyone. We can't wait for them to come back and do more work with us!
— Manny Jerome, COO, E Y Technologies
EY Technologies, a division of Pascale Industries, specializes in the design and manufacture of technical yarns which include yarns with custom extrusion coatings, hot melt adhesive coatings, UV coatings, helical wrappings and unique monofilaments for use in the clothing, telecommunications, electrical, paper machine, composite and transportation industries. Their corporate office houses laboratory and manufacturing facilities and is located in Fall River, Massachusetts. They currently employ 56 at this site. EY also has sales offices in Asia, Europe, and South America.
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