Around one year ago, we launched a project in VSM on arranging/assembling machinery based on Delivery Moments (DMs). The main aim of this project is to increase assembly efficiency. It is especially to enable our colleagues in assembly to do what they are good at: “assembling machinery”! Not working harder, but smarter and better organised. Everything that stands in the way of assembly (searching, waiting, repairing) costs valuable time and money which would have been better spent elsewhere. With the DM project, we are trying to tackle and, where possible, eliminate a number of these “disruptions” especially where searching and waiting are concerned.
DM entails materials being delivered in a phased sequence to the workstation for assembling a machine. Previously, all the materials were dropped at the workstation in one go, including materials not required for assembly before X days/weeks. This meant large quantities of materials at the workstation which meant a that the overview was lost and space was limited. The assembler was required to build the machine with all these materials, which entailed a great deal of searching and hence assembly time (especially searching for small items and multiple pallets at the workstation).
Delivery Moments have been introduced in order to improve this. A machine will be split up into a number of DMs, depending on the quantity of materials and machine assembly time. A DM comprises the materials for a logical and established machine build (1 DM covers around 2 days of materials). With DMs, the right (quantities of) materials are delivered to the workstation at the right time. This reduces material quantities/the number of pallets at the workstation and less searching is needed. This results in a better overview of the workstation and the schedule, and a better and constant assembly sequence (we have linked DMs to work instructions and checklists). This will ultimately enable machines to be assembled more efficiently and with more constant quality.
At present we have already arranged a substantial number of machines by DM and we are currently working partially with it (by trial and error). The remainder of the machines will follow over the coming period. What is more, we are looking at the optimum method of getting these DMs from the warehouse (and even from the supplier) to the workstation. Currently it is all being handled still with a lift truck and pallets but we are looking at product carriers, trolleys, tugger trains and even AGVs in order to optimise and automate this step too. Summing up: plenty still to do and not finished by a long chalk! Feel free to come along to assembly if you are interested in this project!