Be Careful What You Ask For
by Peter Block
Sorry We're Closed: Diary Of A Shutdown
Baldrige Winner Wins
The only, two-time winner of the coveted Malcolm Baldrige Award is now a Gold winner of the AQP National Team Competition as well. Solectron Technology, Inc's 7-member SMT Process Improvement Team, from their Charlotte, N.C. site, earned the gold in AQP's Team Competition this past March in Las Vegas, NV.
The SMT team focused on improving performance of the surface mount technology (SMT) which performs over 90 percent of the electronic board assembly. It is key to Solectron's business that these lines have a very high level of productivity and quality.
The team identified the problems with the SMT and found that the lines were running at a 31 percent efficiency. The average time for an electronic board in a machine should be about one minute. In several cases they found the boards were taking longer and in some cases as long as 20 minutes. They also detected several gaps where no boards were running at all. During their 24-hour operation, the running time of the SMT lines was about eight hours. They found that their efficiency was comparable to typical industry performance but well below those of best practices. Using a variety of quality tools to research root causes and to improve their processes the team was able to increase their efficiency rate from 31 percent to 67 percent and save the company $3.5 million, exceeding their goal of $2 million by almost double.
The SMT team, as well as the other 25 teams in AQP's National Team Competition were judged on their performance based on their goal selection, project analysis, action plan development, implementation and results. The SMT Improvement Team, received the highest score ever in the 20 years of AQP's Team Competition.
The SMT team, along with the Silver Award winning team from Lucent Technologies and Bronze winners from the United State Postal Office will be presenting at AQP's Fall Team Symposium this coming October 25-27, in Washington, D. C. For details contact AQP at 1-800-733-3310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.