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Lean Manufacturing/Process Improvement

06-91-590-34, Winter 2017

Instructor: Prof.  Sardar Asif Khan

Group members

Chintal Kaiyalkar

Tai Fang

Hongshi Wu

Pinak Peshavaria

Due date: 27/03/17

Machine Utilization & Workplace Organization

 (Detroit Mold Engineering)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgement 4

Abstract 5





CHAPTER 5:  Problem solution 17


Working on this project of Lean Manufacturing/Process Improvement was a source of immense knowledge for us and thus we would like to thank our professor Dr. Sardar Asif Khan for giving us this great learning opportunity. It was only because of his guidance and teaching that we were able to understand and implement the different methodologies in our project which led us to have good understanding of subject. Now we would like to express our deepest appreciation to all those who were part of this project for helping us when needed and help us successfully completing this project in time. We would like to thank each other as a group for the work being done in time and successful completion of this project. Together as a team we raise our standard and came out with enthusiasm to overcome our downside and combine individual strengths.


Lean manufacturing is a field which focuses on the elimination of waste (Muda) within a manufacturing firm keeping into account the waste cause due to overburdening (Muri) and the waste created due to unevenness (Mura) of work-loads. It is very essential to identify different kind of wastes occurring and by eliminate them an industry can work efficiently. This project was done in order for us to have a better understanding of Lean Manufacturing methodologies. We studied the whole process and collected data from the company named Detroit Mold Engineering Co., which is situated in Windsor, ON.  The company provides the Mold Bases for various plastic industries throughout the world.The lean methodology was implemented to collect the data and conduct the analysis of process flow diagram, Value Stream Mapping and cause and effect diagram which helped in capturing the current state. Based on the analysis, the non-value added activities such as unnecessary motion of products and operators were determined and 5S technique was used to eliminate waste and improve the current situation.


The main objective of this project is to analyse the process flow of DME in Windsor and try to make it smoother and decrease the waste happening at plant.  In 1942, I.T. Quarnstrom founded Detroit Mold Engineering (today’s DME Company) to provide mold bases in standard sizes. After seven decades of operations, they have branches in many countries such as Australia, Belgium, Chile, China and India.

The brief list of products that are being manufactured and sold by DME Co. are as following:

• Mold Bases

• Mold Plates

• Mold Assembly Components

• Standard Mold Components

Now in their Windsor branch they mainly focus on taking orders of customized mold bases and all the designs will be different which makes the process flow very complicated and that’s why there is no specific Takt time for every order.


The basic idea of lean manufacturing is to remove non-value added activities and increase the productivity of the process. Following tools from lean manufacturing were used:

• Value Stream Mapping:

o Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a method of visually drawing a production path (materials and information) of a product from one place to another. Itserves as a starting point to help engineers and owners to recognize wastes and identify its causes. The process includes manuallydrawing\"current state\" while also focusing on where you want to be, or your \"future state\" blueprint, which serve as the base for other Lean improvement strategies.

o In our project, we used this tool to find out the bottleneck operation, so that we can make that operation better and efficient for our improved future state.

• Fish Bone Diagram:

o It is the fundamental tool to analyse the root causes that are making the process ineffective and produce more waste.The causes could be due to the interruption of the 4 M’s that is, Men, Materials, Machines and Methods.

o In our project, we used fish bone diagram to determine the root causes of problematic aspects such as excess movement of products and operators within the organisation and reasons for rework and downtime of a machine.

• 5S:

o 5S engages people through the use Standardization and Sustainability of those standards.It is not just about housekeeping, but concentrating on maintaining the standards & discipline to manage the organization - all achieved by upholding & showing respect for the Gemba [workplace] every day.

o We used 5S for the better organisation of assembly tools and equipment on the shop floor.


DME Co. is a well-established Mold Base supplier for many Plastic Industries in North America. The process flow of machining operations and assembly of product was studied and the following problems where found:

1) Poor location of Machine, Assembly Station and Storage for tools:

• The assembly station and the storage from which tools that are needed for the assembly were way too far from each other and shipping station. Hence, unnecessary movement of operators was observed.

2) Machine named Magnum 800 was taking too much time in operation than the standard time:

• After measuring the machining time of Magnum 800, it was observed that it was taking more time in machining than the standard time.

• Plant manager also informed us that the machine also had some high unplanned downtime and there was also some rework problem.


4.1 Data Collection

Data collection is one of the most important steps in any project. Each and every bit of a data will show you the reality going on with the plant. The cycle time of every operation, flow of product in the plant, and positioning of the machines in current plant layout were all gathered by manual study and observation. We went to the company few times so that we can measure everything we need and try to solve the problem occurring. From this data, we identified the problem and used appropriate tools to carry out analysis and find appropriate solutions.

4.2 Process Flow Chart

Every Mold Base is unique and is made as per the customer demands but the machines and sequence of operation required for all the products is same. It means that for every machining the cycle time will be different depending on the product size and its complexity.

The list of operations that are required for Mold Base is as per below:

• Radial Drilling

• Rough Machining

• Stress Relieving

• Surface Grinding

• CNC Finishing

• Surface Finishing

• Side Finishing

• Assembly

Now, at the company they have 2 sections in which one is used for the bigger moulds making and other is used for the small mould production but the sequence for both is same. Out of all the orders they receive 30% are big mould while remaining 70% are small moulds.

The flow chart for the processes is as per following:

Figure 1: Process Flow Layout

4.3 Current Plant Layout :

Figure 2: Current floor plan

Here from the current floor plan we can see that machines are not set as per the flow of the machining and due to which it causes a lot of trouble for material handling and storage of it. Even in the upper right they mentioned the space as a shipping docking area but they now use it as a waste and material storage which cause lot of problem because they do not distinguish all kind of materials they keep there. As we can see that for the big moulds final assembly area was on the top part but the small parts needed for assembly is on the bottom par so it was causing lot of time wastage. We studied the process flow and then we related it to the current floor plan. We took all the dimension of machines, rack for storage, unutilized space at the company.

4.4 Current Value Stream Mapping:

Figure 3 : Current Value stream mapping

Customers give the demand to produce parts and depending on the size of part and its complexity the lead time is decided. The time taken here for each machines are average time for machining different parts. The general customer demand per month is 45 parts. Here they have 2 shits each shift of 10hrs and 1 hour break which give us 9 hrs of working time, while on Saturday they have 5 hr shift with 20 minutes of break.

1. TAKT time = No. of hours available per day / Customer demand per day

            = (20-2)/2

            = 9 hrs

2. Cycle efficiency = Value added time / Total lead time

                        = 2565 / ((17*24*60) +2565)

                        = 9.48 %

4.5 Problem Identification:

Fishbone and 5Why :


The 1st problem was that there was more unnecessary motion being done by the operators, transportation of the material. So we used fishbone diagram to identify different activities causing this problem.

Figure 4: Fishbone diagram for Problem-1

After doing the fishbone diagram we came to know the main source of problem and to know the root cause of it we used 5WHY method to find out the root cause which is as per below:

 Figure 5:  5Whys for Problem-1

Problem-2 :

Below is the fishbone diagram for the problem which is not being able to meet the customer demand and by drawing a fishbone diagram it helped us to identify the factors affecting it and by knowing the factor we came to know the main factor affecting or causing that problem. The 4 factors are:

Men, Method, Machine and Material

Figure 6: Fishbone diagram for Problem-2

After doing the fishbone diagram we came to know the factor causing that problem and after knowing that we used 5Why tool to further identify root cause of it which is as below:

Figure 7:  5Whys for Problem-2

CHAPTER 5:  Problem solution

Solution for Problem 1

Problem 1 was that arrangement of the layout was not proper so operators were doing more motion as well as material transportation time was also high so to change that we proposed 2 solutions:

1. 5S implementation

2. New floor plan

1. 5S implementation:

5S is a method that includes SORT, SET, SHINE, STANDARDIZE and SUSTAIN which are the parts of it and we used all of it where they were applicable to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the process while making the workplace a better environment.

After doing visual inspection of industry we came across few things which were causing trouble on day to day basis and we thought that those problems can be solved by using 5S methodology. Problems were:

1. Improper placed WIP

2. Inefficient waste handling

3. No extra manual forklift

4. Unorganized Tools storage

5. Erroneous use of storage rack  


                 1                                                            2


                                 3                                                  4


Figure 8: Before implementing 5WHYS


Eliminate whatever is not needed

• The waste which was not properly organized we suggested that they should put one big bin where they collect their everyday waste and by the end of the shift transfer it.

• They should sort out unnecessary items put on the rack so that it can be used as inventory store for raw material.


Organize whatever remains

• It was observed that, the finished goods and work in progress were kept together so it was difficult to differentiate between both so there should be identification tags put on the each product.

• Tools in the storage rack were not stored as per their location so there should be tags on the tools racks.


Clean the working area

• Most of the area was clean enough and they had routine to clean the work space after use but there were some places that were not clean as per the standard set by the company , which can be seen below:



To ensure regular cleaning and maintenance

• We implemented signing sheet for operator to sign when he/she takes part and put it back after use so to track the record of tools used and lost tools.


Make 5S the way of working.

• By making them realize that how it will be helpful to them to follow all the procedures so that they will stick to the lean principles and there will be a lean environment.

• Periodic check must be done by the senior officials to make sure that operators follow procedures rules and regulations as well as to award the best follower to encourage the lean environment.

After implementation of 5S, we tried to remove the things that were causing the hindrance to material and operator movement.

2. New Floor Layout

To reduce the unnecessary motions of operators and materials, we came up with the new floor layout and it is shown below:

The locations of following stations were changed to get the effective material and operator’s movement:

• Final Assembly station for heavy parts was shifted and put closer to the shipping station.

• Storage for tools that are required for assembly were transferred and kept closer to the assembly station. So, operators don’t have to make extra motions to grab the parts.

• New inventory space is introduced between OKK-1000 and Grinder machine to store WIP(Big parts).

Solution for Problem 2

As discussed above, that Makino’s Horizontal Machining Centre was old and the programming was manual. Because of that the machine was way too much slow and company was not meeting with the customer’s demands.

We addressed that issue with the plant owner and we told him to change the machining centre to improve the efficiency of machine. But, he told us that he would not want to invest more money into the old machine. So, he advised us that he would like to install a new machine that is 40% more efficient than the Makino 800. So, we collected the necessary data required for the cost/benefit ratio and the calculation for that is shown below:

After installing the new machine, the cycle time for Rough Machining Station would be 360 min because it will be 40% more efficient than the previous one.

Future Value Stream Mapping:

After implementing 5S , changing floor layout we were able to reduce the unnecessary motion and to improve the cycle efficiency it can be seen that instead of using old machine whose uptime was 62% with low accuracy we suggested to buy new machine which is very accurate and whose uptime is 100% .Due to this machine we could now reduce the inventories in between different machines because now the machine is quick so need to keep safety stock as a inventory and which in turn increased the cycle efficiency to 8.67%.

CHAPTER 6:  Conclusion

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