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Consolidation Processes Save Time, Money And Win Awards
Three organizations received recognition at AQPs
1998 National Team Competition for their increased productivity and utilization
of teamwork within the workplace.
The AQP Gold Award went to the Dirtbusters from Honda of America Manufacturing,
Inc., Marysville, Ohio. The Hermetic Perfectors from Emerson Electric Co.,
Humboldt, Tenn., took the Silver and the Field of Dreams Crew from the Lear
Corporation, located in Winchester, Va., received the Bronze award.
The National Team Competition took place at AQPs 20th Annual Spring
Conference in Nashville, Tenn., April 27-29, 1998. A panel of judges rated
each team based on the following criteria: support of their organizations
goals, identification of a problem, implementation of a solution, evaluation
of the results and presentation skills.
The Gold winners were the Dirtbusters who increased productivity within
their Gold Wing Motorcycle Division. The Gold Wing Motorcycle is the Cadillac
of motorcycles. The Gold Wing accounts for one-third of Marysvilles
productivity. Top quality is the key. But in route to perfection, many problems
can arise. The Direct Pass assembly procedure leaves room for errors.
The teams overall goal, focused within the Gold Wing division, was
to improve delivery by two percent. To ensure this success, the paint department
needed to improve the Direct Pass assembly procedure to 77 percent to reach
that two-percent goal. This was a 32 percent increase from where the level
was currently stagnating. The Specter Red special edition color
is the number one choice of customers and is, ironically, the highest loss
item that the paint department produces, due to the amount of flaws and
defects in the paint process. After choosing the paint, the trunk body was
the part that had the highest level of mistakes. The team then evaluated
each procedure and prioritized improvement tactics. By focusing on one item
and paint color, the solutions could then be applied to the other nine colors
and 27 parts involved. Ultimately, each area of concern that the team suspected
as the culprit, panned out to nothing. The team then created a set of counter-measures,
prioritized them and standardized them to ensure that the employees achieved
The Silver winner, the Hermetic Perfectors, reduced the occurrence of phase
on phase effects in their hermetic motors. The stator core of the hermetic
motor which runs an air conditioning unit was the part that the team chose
to improve. The part consists of numerous copper wires that cannot touch.
There was an immense amount of down time and scrapped parts because the
blocker machine that assembled the parts was smashing the wires. This forced
the operator to spend extra time separating each of the wires. The team
wanted to completely eliminate this problem, which in the past, had just
been something that the employees dealt with. The team discovered, through
keeping a constant control group and altering the experimental groups by
only one factor each trial, that the normal blocker setting of the machine
was incorrect. The team completely eliminated the phase on phase occurrence
within two months, saving Emerson Electric both time and money in scrapped
The Bronze winner, the Field of Dreams Crew, improved the quality of their
Ford Windstar Minivan by also reducing the down time between stages and
the amount of scrap parts, thus improving customer satisfaction. Customers
were not waiting as long for their vehicle and the number of mistakes decreased.
The team focused on the inefficient process of first molding the parts,
boxing them up, transferring them to another department, unboxing them,
painting them and reboxing them. This process took up to 96 hours. Communication
between departments was difficult. If there was a problem, it wasnt
discovered until the entire assembly was complete and then the part would
have to be scrapped. The solution was to combine the two stages into one.
They reduced the number of people handling the parts from eight to two.
An order placed one day can now be finished the next. This combination lessens
weekend work for the staff, cuts down on the time doing one job and increases
time for other jobs.
For more information about the team excellence award and entry requirements
call 1-800-733-3310 or visit our website at www.aqp.org.