As a Lean Manufacturer, we have an environment of continuous improvement, where everyone looks for ways to increase efficiency and make things better for our employees.
And one of the best ways to reach our goals is to ask individual employees to make suggestions and spearhead improvement projects. That keeps us competitive with other companies that build products overseas.
Lean Manufacturing improvement of the month: Visualizing wiring diagrams on the fan heater assembly lines
Ike, one of our materials handlers, proposed adding visual wiring diagrams to computers on our assembly line. Now employees can refer to images that show how to properly wire our parts and products, instead of relying on our old, written instructions on paper. It is particularly useful because we have employees who speak multiple languages, and images span those language barriers. Ike’s suggestion was part of a continuous improvement project to add computers to our fan line which eliminated paper work orders, tickets and manual entry. That process makes our heaters immediately available to ship once it is built instead of having to wait for paperwork to be manually entered into the system.
This month’s Lean Manufacturing quote comes from author and singer Robert Brault:
“There are many experts on how things have been done up to now. If you think something could use a little improvement, you are the expert.”
I think this quote really speaks to our continuous improvement culture here at Cadet. As employees are encouraged to suggest improvements to their work and take ownership of projects, there’s no one who knows better how to improve the quality Cadet product that rolls off the daily assembly line.