Situation: Conducted Process improvement and “green” training for 30,000 sq.ft. manufacturing of metal furniture components. We integrated the concepts of energy and recycling with their existing Lean program.
The client had an annual energy spend of $180,000 with one-half of that for heating the curing ovens. Our value-stream map focused upon the inputs and outputs in the powder coating process that created waste (both in the sense of traditional Lean “muda”, as well as over heating, over-cooling, and excess movement of conveyors and part delivery systems.)
Outcome: The team (DwN and plant employees) proposed a re-design of the paint booth operations, and monitoring of bake oven heating in multiple points. The end result was a 45% reduction in natural gas use, a 35% reduction in cooling load for the air conditioning system, and a 10% decrease in travel time for parts running trough the process.
Lessons Learned: Although this company had a mature Lean program of 10 years, they had never examined the energy impacts of their production process. After completion of the training, they were so excited, we went on to examine all the other production steps looking for these “new” wastes.