Custom Machining: Aerospace/Commercial
Machine downtime and its associated costs were effecting bottom-line profitability of this well established, full-service machining operation. Concern about proper care and maintenance of equipment warranted a proactive effort. Increasing teamwork and cooperation between shifts was also at issue.
We worked with the machine operators both highly skilled and new to machining, to begin using the tools ofTPM (Total Productive Maintenance). We constructed work instructions, both visual and written, and standardized the maintenance routines of the machines in the CNC area. Some machines had hidden defects, along with grease zerks and other components needing lubrication and or maintenance that were previously unknown. We facilitated this process with members from both day and swing shifts present, and, using the talents of machinists from other areas of the plant, teamwork and cooperation became natural byproducts.
Many potentially destructive and completely debilitating defects were discovered and corrected. A comprehensive schedule was created with a check and balance system, to ensure all components were being adequately cared for and maintained. It is difficult to quantify and assign a dollar value to “what might have gone wrong,” but it was obvious to the cross-shift, inter-departmental team that our proactive efforts would extend the service lives of the machines that underwent this process. Previously separated, niche operators became highly interactive and cooperative throughout this process. Many long-standing assumptions and inhibitors to communication were discarded. In another division of this company we trained TPM facilitators to help teach and implement the program throughout the remaining divisions with impressive results and many successes.