GKN in Portsmouth manufacture flexible fuel tanks and inflatable products for aircraft and marine applications. As part of its drive to embed continuous improvement throughout the organisation, Lean Education And Development Limited (LEAD) have been commissioned to train employees in lean thinking and facilitate the company wide deployment of lean projects through the use of a full time delivery team on the GKN site. This has yielded excellent results and has supported the company objective of transforming the culture of the organisation. The first Kaizen Project has generated significant productivity benefits and other potential savings.
Project Title – To improve the bonding process within the tank fitting area
To achieve flow
Reduce lead time and inventory
To create standard work sheets using the process specification provided.
The Process – Using the Kaizen Event Charter
The Event Charter shows “where we are and where we would like to be”.
The A3 Practical Problem Solver Template is a structured approach to identify the root cause of a problem and determine solutions.
There is potential to balance processes on the Tank to around 5hrs. Welding would require x2 operators to maintain flow using WIP x1 at each welder. If flexibility exists in Weld and Prep fittings then this would also improve manpower allocation and parts flow.
The overall effect for the tank product has been dramatic. Before the Lean intervention the product took a total man hours requirement of 165 hours to produce and this resulted in the inability to meet the customer order book and growing arrears.
After the intervention, the total man hours requirement is now 150 hours to produce a product and this has resulted in improved on-time delivery, enough capacity to meet the customer requirement and reducing arrears.