Lean and Green Saves Heath Tecna $125,000
Angela Davis, Manufacturing Engineering Manager
How They Did It
Employees on the shop floor were putting items that were not dangerous waste into the dangerous waste disposal containers, increasing the amount of material that had to be disposed of as dangerous waste. This increased the amounts going to the more expensive dangerous waste disposal.
The company uses a two-part epoxy from a syringe system for the adhesive that creates the composite sheets. The Lean team’s analysis determined the most efficient way to purge new syringes and standardized that throughout the shop.
The company had been buying a toxic anodizing product in bulk, but could not use it up before the product expired and had to be disposed. The Lean Team determined that small “pens” of the product worked just as well, so they could stop buying in bulk. This eliminated the use of 400 pounds of the toxic product per year. Less product used means better protection for the environment. It also saved $700 in purchase costs and reduced the company’s dangerous waste disposal costs.
Next, the team analyzed how the core sheets were cut into the needed parts. By using larger sheets and improving the layouts for many of the parts, they greatly increased yield from each sheet and reduced the scrap.
Finally, the team focused on defect reduction. They looked at non-conformance report data and determined which piece of equipment generated the majority of the defects. From this, they determined a way for the equipment to constantly monitor defects and quality. If the monitoring shows a defect, such as an incompletely glued sheet, the equipment operator can remove it from the line. Without this capability, defective sheets would continue on the manufacturing line, which would waste the following workers’ time and materials.
The team also metered water use and found that the water pressure on the facility’s vacuum pumps was much higher than necessary. They installed a pressure regulator to optimize the water pressure while still meeting specifications. In addition, the company is realizing water and cost savings from installing low flow toilets and fixtures. Eventually this will save the company $25,000 per year.
Contacts and Resources
Lean and Green at the Department of Ecology
Heath Tecna, Inc.
US EPA Lean Manufacturing Resources
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