SMP® Independence, Kansas Facility Completes Kaizen Improvement Event

The Standard Motor Products, Inc. Independence facility recently completed a Kaizen Improvement Event in the World Valve PCV manufacturing cell. Team members used Lean techniques including Value Stream Mapping, Identification of the 7 Wastes in manufacturing, Level Loading, and material and information flows in the four-day event.

In the first quarter of 2013, the World Valve PCV cell was working 2 full shifts to keep up with customer requirements, producing 3,000 units per day. In April the volume increased nearly 20% per day due to additional business from the Tigershark engine platform.

Based on information from the Value Stream Map, the team made improvements to the flow test and leak test stations as indicated on the level loading charts, repositioned a laser sensor to reduce number of false fails, and adjusted inventory levels of raw components at the cell.

The improvements increased the cell output from the pre-Kaizen levels of 3,000 units per day to 3,600 units per day. The increased output allowed the absorption of the additional volume without increasing hours run in the cell.

The Independence Kaizen team also created a communication board to track productivity and first pass yield in the cell. The communication board allows for immediate area performance assessment. It’s exciting to see how the Independence team was able to apply these new principles to produce improved quality and efficiencies.