Posts written by tgg

Event Consultant: Arnold George

Event Description: MGB Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) Kaizen

Event Location: Baldwinsville, NY

Purpose for Week’s Activities:

  • Review videos from Week 1 changeovers
  • Determine what internal changeover elements can be moved to external
  • Identify opportunities to eliminate and reduce non-value added and business value-added tasks
  • Identify opportunities to modify the equipment to make it more conducive to SMED principles of safe, faster and mistake proof
  • Create Standard Work for all crews to follow
  • Create training plan to implement changes across all shifts
  • Reduce average change over time

Largest Categories of Waste – Motion, Rework, Over Processing (adjustments)

Reduce Motion –

  • Sequenced work steps
  • Each step was identified as VA or NVA
  • If possible, NVA steps were eliminated by using templates and quick change tools
  • Activities were organized so the operator and feeder worked in tandem rather than separately
  • Reduced tasks
  • The number of trips to check and reset fixtures was reduced

Over Processing –

  • Work steps were redesigned to take advantage of quick change hardware and incorporate tools into the machine
  • X locations were located on the machine where tool-less quick release fixtures were installed (Y other locations identified for expansion)
  • Identified Z opportunities to remove non-value added tasks

Things Implemented This Week

  • Quick change hardware
  • Hardware standardization
  • Machine modifications
  • Exposed all 3 shifts to the new process
  • Buy into the process
  • Detailed Standard Work steps were tested on two changeovers

Overall Observations This Week

  • The team remained diligent through the SMED training and were intent on identifying and eliminating waste throughout the process.
  • One team member did not originally think we could achieve our goal of an X minute changeover, but after the exercise believed a sub-hour make ready is possible.
  • The _____ crew was very diligent about their work during these changeovers and desired to improve their last performance and get to the running stage quickly.
  • We observed several mechanical delays that were unexpected. These are true opportunities to investigate and drive out the root causes.
  • The crew was very helpful in validating these elements during the week. One operator led the team on his first changeover and was able to beat the previous standard.

Next Steps

  • Finalize training plan to include four shifts of changeover training and roll out by end of month.
  • Issue the current version of Standard Work and review with users for opportunities to streamline and improve.
  • Continue to develop tools to reduce adjustment and set up times.
  • Continue working with maintenance to identify better ways of setting up, and eliminate the need for adjustments.
  • Incorporate tools into hardware so no tools are required.
  • Continue to monitor changeover results and perform root cause analysis to reduce time from last good part to first good part.


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Event Consultant: Lynn Clark

Event Description: Inserter DOE Week 2

Event Location: Baldwinsville, NY

Preliminary Questions (from last report):

  • What is the relationship between the quality control measures Baldwinsville takes and the defects observed at another plant?
  • Is the sampling frequency appropriate to keep bad product out of customer’s process?
  • How well does BVL perform those measures?
  • How well do the quality control measures meet the customer specs (Capability)?

This Week’s Key Actions:

  • Conducted capability analysis of __________ hourly quality measurements.
  • Compared ___________ hourly quality measurements with customer defects.
  • Prepared samples for Measurement System Analysis (MSA) evaluation.
  • Conducted operator measurements.
  • Performed MSAs.
  • Prepared conclusions and recommendations based upon MSA findings.
  • Reviewed and updated action registry.

Capability Analysis:

  • Many parameters are measured hourly and entered into _________.
  • Data for Feb., March, and April was evaluated.
  • Each parameter was checked for normality and stability before performing capability analysis.

MSA Sample Preparation:

  • Off spec item was used for this test so no additional scrap was generated.
  • The operator manipulated the _______ to induce variation consistent with that observed in the historical data.
  • Ten samples were pre-selected by CI team for each of the three parameters.
  • Four operators who routinely perform these test participated.
  • The samples were randomized before presentation to the operators.

MSA Analysis:

  • Each operator evaluated each sample twice
  • Two operators indicated they could not measure skew considering the way the samples were prepared,
  • Good measurement systems have <10% Tolerance and Process.
  • %Tol and % Process must be <30% for acceptance.

MSA Conclusions and Recommendations:

  • Current process measurements can’t tell good from bad, or if the process is getting better or worse.
  • No standard work for X exists.
  • Standard work for alignment and width were not present.

Use of black light at measurement station appears to aid in reduction of measurement error.            







Path Forward:

  • Develop/Revise standard work for all measurements
  • Trial use of black lights at measurement stations
  • Train all operators who perform the measurements
  • Re-run MSA to determine if %Tol is <30%.
  • Modify leader standard work to include spot checks of measurement system.


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Event Consultant: Lynn Clark

Event Description: Inserter DOE Prep

Event Location: Baldwinsville, NY


Problem Statement:

Since the _____, the 227 Inserter has a FPY of XXX. This has resulted in ________ at a cost of $_________.

Week 1 Actions:

Charter preparation

  • Scope the project
  • Team
  • Goals

Develop project plan – “Modified Affinity” method

Prepare SIPOC

Conduct preliminary C&E matrix

Start development of questions and hypothesis

Project Scope: 

Analysis conducted during scoping showed that the 227 line has about X% of the overall ________ for all of the inserters. Of the X different ______ defect codes, X% are related to a partially ________ liner.



Project Plan: 

A high level project plan was prepared listing the tasks and an estimated timeline with the projected completion date set for September 2017. There are a number of conditions which may be encountered that may impact the overall timeline. Critical tasks include:

  • Timely capture of Y data (defects per day)
  • MSA
  • Time lag between making adjustment to inputs like temperature and response

C&E Matrix: 

A quick C&E matrix was conducted. Two criteria were used: _____ defects at X; internal _____ related scrap. During the preparation of the C&E it was recognized that both criteria had nearly the same relationship, so only the defects at X were evaluated. 

Next Steps:

Plan FMEA, select team members, reserve the date, start data collection of Y data, and collect and analyze Q1 measurement data.


Many of initial deliverables started or completed. Charter, paretos, SIPOC, C&E, project plan, initial hypothesis statements

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Event Consultant: Lynn Clark

Event Description: Zig Zag Downtime

Event Location: Greensboro, NC


Problem Statement:

One of the Gluers has been running at ABC cartons per hour since it was relocated to Greensboro. When it was at the other plant, it was running at over DEF / hr and has an OEM nameplate capacity of XYZ / hr.

TeamDavid, Tracy, and Gill


Machine performance is tracked

Ideal performance is calculated based upon the blank Y + 0.75″ and belt speed

Performance data is provided to the management team daily

There was a previous RCFA Kaizen on the same finishers

Centerlines, Work Instructors, Leader Std. Work, CoF, and machine condition were ID’ed as key causal factors during the previous event


24 different sources of variation were identified which impact performance.


The 24 sources of variation were consolidated into 4 improvement concepts: Operator Standard work/training (#1), WIP quality (#2), waiting on WIP (low occurrence), additional staffing (not considered).

The data supports that some operators perform better than others (based upon average Performance). It also shows that each operator has considerable variation job to job. Another issue stated by the team is that crews were following Centerlines but also said that some personnel changed the settings. Finally, everyone believes there is a direct relationship between the skill of the feeder and frequency of jams. The Feeder is a critical position due to the speed of the machine. It is recommended that new feeders start on slower machines until they gain competency.

The leadership team was not aware of the existing Work Instructions for the other gluers which resulted in Work Instructions being modified. There was no record of the operators being trained, particularly for the feeder position. Therefore, a training plan was drafted. All operators will be trained on the feeder position before the end of February. Because operators modify the machines’ adjustments outside of the Centerlines, leader standard work will include periodic verification of Centerlines and feeder conformance to work instructions.

WIP Quality

Feeders are slowed down if the pallets are not stacked in proper orientation. Feeders are slowed down if the stacks are not flush on all sides. The press catchers were coached on the importance of building the pallets properly.


What is the Training Plan?

New feeders will receive initial training during orientation. This training will consist of watching the video and reading the Work Instructions. The on-floor training will be conducted one-on-one during operations, starting with the work instructions where the trainer will show how to feed, explain the main steps and key points, and provide reasons through several loading cycles. Then, the trainees will show how to do the work and to explain the main steps, key points, and reasons through several loading cycles.

Estimated Benefit

The two lines are currently running at about 70% performance

The improvements are projected to result in both Gluers running at 80% performance

  She’s the Finishing Queen!

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Consultant: Jorge Garcia

Event Description: 3P New Campus Layout

Event Location: Raleigh


Problem Statement:

Analyze the layout of the new campus to increase the probability to satisfy the forecasted company growth and improve production performance.


With an impressive YOY growth, this company decided to develop a new campus that will allow for continued growth, improve its production process and become a showcase for its customers.

Success Definition – Methodology

A group of critical stakeholders were asked the question, “What should be achieved with the New Campus layout to be considered successful?”. Their answers were recorded and key words were listed as the Success Factors for the exercise.

Each Success Factor was compared vs the others to estimate their relative weight during the decision-making process. Growth (Capacity), Quality, Sustainability, Cost and Flow were the most important factors to consider after Safety.

Product Families – Methodology

  • High level map
  • Process analysis
  • Product analysis
  • Matrix created – products to process steps

Baseline – Methodology

Create a graphical representation of the Current State Map (CSM). Using the new campus blueprint, CSM and the Product families, create a scale model of the manufacturing process. Gather baseline data, according to the initial plans for the new campus layout.

Alternatives – Methodology

Create a list of Limitations, Options, Assumptions, Guidelines – brainstorm different layouts. A total of 8 layouts alternatives were created and evaluated.

Layout Selection – Methodology

  • Evaluate each Layout Alternative vs the defined success factors.
  • Select top 2 Layout Alternatives.
  • Combine them by selecting the best of each model.

The next step was to create the best options for Single Place Flow work cells, four Mega Cell work cells and the assembly lines. The best option will be selected based on the initial criteria. Controversial perspectives were discussed and reevaluated.

Future Opportunities

Product standardization – Evaluate the possibility of de-customized some component of company’s products.

Value Stream Organizational Structure – Include Engineering, Solutions and Sales into the cross-functional teams.

Process Improvement:

  • 5S
  • Engineering and Design
  • Visual Management
  • Leadership Standard Work (LSW)





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Event Location: Hastings, NE

Event Description: (Trans) Daily Management

Problem Statement: One of the presses has performed below expectations at an average speed of 6,900 Sheets per hour compared to a budget of 9,500 Sheets per hour. The current asset availability is < 50%.


  • Assess the current health of the press
  • Use Lean Six Sigma tools to find the root cause for lack of press speed.
  • Clean to Inspect.
  • Investigate the failure of the Autonomous Maintenance Program.

TPM (Derrick)/Tools (Travis):


The Results:

  • Trained the team on problem-solving techniques
  • Inspected and repaired over 25 vacuum/air leaks that are preventing the press from reaching ideal state.
  • Started cleaning the delivery and feed section.
  • Identified multiple bad components.
  • Repaired the delivery gripper release cam screw actuator and controls.
  • Color-coded vacuum lines from the pump house to the delivery.
  • Repaired foot on the feeder head.
  • Created a second revision of the previous Autonomous maintenance program.
  • Create a detailed action plan for improvement
  • Completed a DOE on Best Run Setting



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Event Description: (Mfg) SMED

Event Location: Hastings, NE

Problem Statement: Continue with SMED Certification: The plant has completed several SMED events with little sustainment. The variation in change over times is limiting the business and costing over $250M/year. The lean tools were implemented but the management system did not follow. The press struggles significantly with Make Ready’s. Make Ready times are often greater than 2 hours, while the customer demand requires the time to be less than 45 minutes.




  1. Refine the standard work on the press
  2. Focus on 1 Pull registration
  3. Continue the certification of operators

The team performed 3 Make Ready’s on the press. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the MR time was spent obtaining register, requiring 16 sets to be pulled and various adjustments. Plate changes were completed in less than 15 minutes each time. This was not a representative of the real struggle in performing a full Make Ready.


The team performed a new video analysis on the press with the emphasis on registration identifying VA versus NVA steps. The team continued to improve the standard work and performed a waste walk identifying Value adding activities in each department.

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Event Description: Transactional Mapping – TAP tasks Job Bag & Border Sample Process

Event Location: Kitchener, Ontario

Problem Statement: There is not a consolidated summary of all of the information needed for a production run. Some data is captured on paper forms and other data is captured electronically. There could be 20 plus pages to evaluate a production run. The format of the data does not facilitate timely review and quick conclusions. There is no comprehensive review of the data and we are not learning from it.



Improve the job bag effectiveness to: 

  • Provide all of the information needed at the production floor
  • Collect all required samples for FGPA, customer samples, quality samples, reruns and trials
  • Aggregate data collected at each stage of production and make it available for downstream reference

Current State Job Bag:

Data Aggregation – Future State:

  • Phase 1: Modify collection forms to collect data rather than check marks
  • Phase 2: Move to electronic data collection in Excel
  • Phase 3: Collect data directly into Dynamic Documents or into SharePoint



Consolidate data and information and make it immediately available for:

  • Downstream operations to have visibility into problems that have occurred
  • RCFA
  • Comprehensive overview of a job run
  • Trending
  • Verification that all quality testing has been performed and the results

Modify current state tabulation logs to:

  • Remove standard work from checklist and put on poster
  • Change check marks to actual data where appropriate

Eliminate cello and corrugate order forms

Future State Job Bag Requirements

Requirements for data, reference material and obtaining samples


  • Mapped job bag current state
  • Created a job bag future state
  • Captured improvement opportunities and identified top priorities
  • Developed a phased plan to implement improvements
  • Red-lined tabulation logs to move away from check marks and replace with data
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Event Location: Kitchener, Ontario

Problem Statement: Standard work for PR-01 was drafted during the January SMED event. Focused upon standardization of the process steps leading up to the first pull. The two pressman-feeder teams used different methods from the first pull to running at rate. This resulted in longer make-ready times and MR wastes. The historical operational data does not have sufficient granularity to quantify the amount of this difference on a long term basis.


Meet the team



Baseline Information

Each week this press conducts about 40 M-R’s.

  • No current system captures the time for each M-R which is accurate or that can be easily and quickly evaluated. 
  • Initially, each teams’ M-R process varied slightly from other teams.

What did we do?

Both teams participated in Lean introductory training which focused upon:

  • Forms of waste
  • History
  • 5-S
  • Kaizen

Reviewed and revised Work Instructions

Drafted Gantt Chart

Performed some additional 5-S

Maintenance Team Contribution

Additional hand tools needed to do the job efficiently were secured. Operators were provided with an additional 19mm socket, extension and drive and a new torque wrench (with extension and socket) needed for blanket cylinder.






Tools on coater following the first 3 S’s.

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Author: Tommy Allen

After being involved in 3P and 5S Kaizen events, Lean quickly became integrated into my daily work thought process. I wanted to be able to teach these initiatives to co-workers to empower them to take action into their own hands. Allen Industries is just like any other company, our employees are the livelihood. All of the past success is because of the intelligence and willpower the employees have towards the company to get it as far as it is today. So the real question that I asked myself, why not give the employees the tools to better the work environment?

I began my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification with the Guthrie Group about a year ago. During this time I took several classes which gave me all of the basic tools to understand the fundamental foundation of Lean Six Sigma. Classes are set up not only to just teach, but have you interact with the process in order to understand clearly. Almost every principle is followed up with a hands-on activity to give you an actual real life application. Something as simple as putting together a remote control car taught me more about Muda than I ever understood by going through actual Lean events. By going through this training, it made me see the waste not only on the shop floor but on my desk, in my car, in my apartment. I have always heard that an employee is blind to their own process until they are taught to take themselves out of it, because you can never see the wasteful tendencies you perform every single day. The reason is because you have never questioned your actions before so it has become your “daily routine.” This training taught me take a different approach to how I work and how I should convince others to work. Waste is everywhere; it’s a Green Belt’s job to help identify that waste and eliminate it.

Tommy Allen receives Green Belt Certification


My Six Sigma Black Belt certification was much different. Ever since Allen Industries began Lean events two years ago, I had always been a huge advocate for removing waste. So it interested me to learn the Six Sigma approach, which opened up a whole new world. By reducing variation, Six Sigma is a much more methodical approach to problems.  Everything can be measured with data. This class was the vital tool that allowed interpreting and dissecting this data in so many ways. Even though there was a great deal of content, the class went at a perfect pace. In every module, there were real world examples along the way that would reinforce the content to stick in your brain. It’s a tool that everyone should get certified on in my opinion. It will be able to save money and improve output in no time. This involved several weeks of classes in which we progressed along the trail of Six Sigma projects. And along the way we were tasked to perform our own project with very helpful one-on-one session. Being a Six Sigma Black Belt means so many things. To me it was very important to be able to teach these philosophies to other personnel within my company. Being able to show them how any process can improve and give them encouragement in their job. I’m not only a much better employee, but I feel personally invested in my work which I hope I will rub off onto some of my colleagues.

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Define your Problem Statement.

The first step towards breaking your organizational log jams is identifying and verbalizing the challenge you're facing. What are you trying to solve? This simple Problem Statement exercise can have profound implications for your team. It helps you define the issue and gives TGG some sense of where the soft spots could be in your Order to Cash process. We invite you to take a few moments to fill out this form. A TGG consultant will contact you shortly to discuss your Problem Statement and provide some insight on how we may be able to help.

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