Investacast – VSM Case Study

Leadtime Reduction & Rework Elimination

Business Objective

“the foundry has increased volume and we need to reduce Lead-times, Lower Work-in-Progress and introduce flow on our high volume products”

Current Situation and Background

The growth of the foundry as hit new heights with one customer becoming a key account at over 80% of the volume, with 4 products stepping into the repeaters category for the business. Lead-times are increasing and the SMEs Customer is wanting to raise the volume further whilst also wanting a reduction in leadtime.

First Phase is to analyse the business and understand the current situation from Order Entry through to Customer Delivery.

• Go Look and See the process.
• Process steps – sequence of work.
• Actual operation (VA / NVA)
• Transportation (conveyance)
• Storage (inventory)
• Inspection (quality control)
• Delay (material or process)
• Measurable:- time, distance, quantities.
• Information (process details and issues).
• Improvement Priorities

Analysis and Recommendations

A Value Stream Map was created to ascertain the following;

  • Process flow (how it’s made)
  • Material (is it push or pull)
  • Information flow (what to make and when)

Data Boxes were completed, recording- cycle times, change over times, OEE or Uptime, number of people, process step, etc. All Work-in-Progress within the system was logged and how planning interacted within the process from a people and systems point of view. All rework and subcon loops were mapped.

A complete picture of the Operations Systems Design:

• Demand and Capacity Management
• Scheduling
• Logistics
• Inventory Management
• Process Foundations
• Process Stability

The Leadtimes across Wax, Shell, Foundry and Finishing was analysed for opportunities, TAKT Time was calculated, along with Manning and Line Balancing.

Phase 1 – Implementation Priorities

Overall 27 Projects were highlighted for Implementation, some were categorised as “Just Go Do it’s” with a Top 5 prioritised for implementation immediately these include;

• Eliminate Rework
• Wax Capacity and Uptime Improvement
• Shell Capacity Improvement
• Finishing Cell (incorporating One Piece Flow, pull systems)
• Subcon Performance and Commercial Agreements

50% Leadtime Reduction Highlighted
75% Reduction in Rework
£275K Work in Progress Reduction

“TCMUK Limited led a very successful Value Stream Mapping event at Investacast recently. Their leadership and clarity of thought was invaluable in helping the team gather the relevant data and identify the key areas for improvement in the business. Their personal style is highly engaging and the team enjoyed the project throughout its duration.

Alistair Schofield – CEO