Continuous improvement is a journey, not a destination. Thogus Products began its adventure in 2009.
Over the course of the past 5 years, Thogus Products has made numerous ‘lean’ changes within the plant floor and offices which have positively impacted the company. ‘Lean’ is a method that many manufacturing companies practice to eliminate overall waste and improve processes. This is accomplished in means of reducing time, product and cost.
One of the most important ways in which Thogus Products creates solutions to eliminate waste is provided through the voice of the employee. Employees are encouraged to submit management alert cards when they find possible solutions to current waste in and around the plant floor. These cards are then reviewed through the Continuous Improvement Department where a new process is established and employees are then trained appropriately.
During the beginning of their ‘lean’ journey, Thogus Products invested in robotic arms to separate parts from the tooling cavities. Conveyors allowed parts to cool before dropping into a box to be sorted.
Listed below are further ways in which Thogus has created new ‘lean’ processes:
- AC and a chiller system were installed within the past two years which helped control the environment and the rate at how quickly parts cooled.
- Gaylord tippers were suggested by employees to allow material to continuously flow into the press hoppers. Portable gaylord tippers are also used which allow operators to tip/lift material from any location within the plant. This, too, was a suggestion by an employee.
- Job boards can be seen located at each press which display work order information, instructions, change process, lights, outlets and room to work freely. These boards allow operators to find all information needed to have a successful production run. The boards are also portable, which allows the operators to take them to other stations if needed.
- A forklift charging station was recently created in November. This station appears as a mini parking lot. All forklifts are to be returned to the station when not being used. There, other employees can locate the lifts and will have no worries of them not being charged.
There is no such thing as perfect, but Thogus Products believes that there is always room for improvement.
Portable gaylord tipper- Suggestion by Employee
Portable Job Boards- Suggestion by Employee