Gear Production

MAR 2015

Gear Production

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12—GEAR Production Supplement Optimizing the Production Path New scheduling and resource allocation gives this gear manufacturer the fexibility to cut down on shop foor backlogs and bottlenecks. I t doesn't matter if you're producing the highest-quality gears if they're not getting to the customer on time. Many custom gear shops invest in resources to improve quality requirements—such as new machine technology and improved process design—but unpredictable backlogs and bottlenecks can remain diffcult to manage. This was one area that Forest City Gear (FCG), located in Roscoe, Illinois, began reevaluating in early 2013. Instead of looking at on-time delivery from a fnancial perspective, Director of Manufacturing Jared Lyford began breaking data down in terms of production hours. "It became a question of speed of delivery and our commitment to the customer," Mr. Lyford says. "Once we started getting a handle on this, it really had a profound effect on effciency and throughput on the shop foor." Two Types of Gear Work FCG, family owned and operated since 1955, has typically manufactured two types of gears: "cut-teeth-only" and "make-complete." Cut- teeth-only is exactly as advertised, meaning customers send their blanks to FCG to have the gear made—also known as "operational work." Make-complete projects, on the other hand, Forest City Gear recently modifed its manufacturing process by installing two separate production paths for its cut-teeth-only and make-complete projects. F E A T U R E By Matthew Jaster | Associate Editor

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