Gear Production

MAR 2015

Gear Production

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14—GEAR Production Supplement F E A T U R E On the other side, he says the Gleason P300 S is better suited for make-complete projects. "It doesn't need to be as turnkey," Mr. Lyford says. "We can put an operator in front of it and just do the work. It delivers high levels of productivity." Getting More Out of ERP For many years FCG has been using features of Exact JobBoss, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite catered to custom and make-to-order manufacturers. While the ShopBoss scheduling feature was available to FCG, the shop had never used it. "It's diffcult to use a scheduling feature in any ERP software suite when you're dealing with drop-in business," Mr. Lyford says. Now that the FCG staff knows what machines are being used for each job type, scheduling is much more fexible, especially on the make- complete projects. "If we cut an order now, we know our queue times are set, and we get a very fnite schedule of where that job is going to run through the shop and when it will hit what machine. We use that exclusively to schedule each individual work center on the make- complete side," Mr. Lyford says. Prior to this new system, he says: "Imagine you're going to put this spline on this job February 1, and you get three jobs on the back dock next week for the same machine. Now you're not going to hit your February 1 date. The system as it was just couldn't deal with things like that." The new scheduling system tells supervisors what jobs are going to the work centers for any defned period of time, enabling them to both prepare for jobs and move fexibly if something comes up spontaneously. On the cut-teeth-only projects, it's a more manual process. The team created intricate Excel spreadsheets including setup time, effciency, run time, quantities and more. "As we plug in new jobs, we can see the effect down the line, and this keeps us reactive," he says. Impact of a New System The two production paths have led to faster deliveries, fewer bottlenecks and new incentive programs. "What we have established with these value streams is that the cut-teeth-only side is more reactive and less planned, while the make-complete side is more planned and less reactive." Mr. Lyford says. Delivery times have improved signifcantly under the new system. "When the two value streams were competing for shop foor resources, the cut-teeth only work had a delivery window of three to six weeks. Now it's more like a two-to-three-week window with a 25-percent improvement for on-time delivery. Those are real numbers," Mr. Lyford says. More effective production paths have cleared the way for other exciting projects at FCG. For instance, FCG Special Ops is designed to assist manufacturers facing capacity constraints within In the future, FCG hopes to separate its inspection lab into cut-teeth-only and make-complete work paths to become more effcient in quality assurance.

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