Any time there's a quality event and the customer is involved, the problem needs to be contained, it needs to be fixed...ASAP. The problem is, in the absence of good data, it's difficult to know what really happened that led to the quality event. The containment action tends to be an all encompassing "re-set" of the process as we try to bring everything back to its original state when everything was working well (ie a machine clean-out). If the problem goes away, everyone celebrates and gets back to business. If the quality event was big enough, a new Preventative Maintenance schedule gets established, and now the system is being re-set at a higher frequency. The problem is, every re-set is expensive, requires down-time and hurts productivity. AND it might not even address the real problem that's causing the quality issue to begin with.
Attached is a case study we did for one of our clients. They struggled constantly meeting a new cleanliness specification imposed by a new client. The initial reaction was to increase the target concentration of the chemical cleaner and increase the dump & Recharge frequency. Both would have resulted in higher operating costs. Since they didn't have the time or resources to do a true 5-Why study to determine the KPI's that were impacting their cleanliness, we were asked to help. The case study below outlines the steps we took to isolate the variables that were having a direct impact on part cleanliness. By understanding the specific KPI's that were affecting cleanliness we were able to use condition based management vs time based preventative measures to keep the process in control and costs optimized.
Zimmark Service Technician Micheal Burgess received a minor shock on April 11th 2018 when he reached down to test a tether float in the Gravity Filter Tank at our PRA site in Alabama. Micheal immediately informed his supervisor (Ken Attard). The customer was informed of the incident and the incident was recorded under their HSE Requirements. Micheal was not injured and did not require any medical attention.
ZIMMARK CAUSAL NUMBER: PRA-184-359
Treated, recycled Wash Water gravity drains from a 3000G into a 75G filter tank and circulates back to the tank via additional filtration. Floats were recently installed on the filter tank to shut off the gravity follow automatically. Michael was demonstrating the float operation to a new employee when he felt the shock. Power was immediately disconnected from the floats following the incident. The system is being operated manually pending an on site investigation to be conducted by David Nelson during week of April 23.
The floats were installed 2 weeks prior. A new model tether float had been used as it permitted operation within a shorter operating range. The float has not been used in any other Zimmark application.
NOT YET DETERMINED.
Power was from float was disconnected.
Pending further investigation, Zimmark’s equipment department has suspended use of Dayton Float Switch, Mechanical, Normally Closed, Zoro part no G1845313.
APPLICATION COMPATIBILITY CHECKED:
The 115VAC 10A float was used in a non hazardous fluid (pH 9.1) at approx 120˚F. The max temp for the unit is listed as 140˚F.
WAS IT FULLY TESTED:
Yes. The floats were tested repeatedly by David Nelson following initial installation
WHAT WE LEARNED:
An incident like this has never happened before. Zimmark uses commercially available control systems.
The investigation may identify preventative measures we can take following the install to ensure there is never any risk of electrical exposure.
With over 40 CNC machining sumps, our client had used a chemical management company to take care of all their coolant sumps, coolant recycling and machine PM clean outs. The program relied primarily on Time-Based checks and corrective actions to keep the fluids operating. Their goal was to move to a more data driven program where analyzing process KPI’s allowed for tighter process controls while identifying opportunities for continual process improvement. They selected Zimmark’s Technical Process Management Service due to our focus on data driven execution as well as the strong compliance systems and specialized expertise we provide for Metal working fluid applications.
Sharing a quick story of a customer who decided to use our condition based coolant management program to achieve sustainable cost savings.
With over 110 stand alone coolant applications, our customer was using regular system clean-outs as a strategy to minimize risk that fluid condition would be the cause of any operational or H&S related issue. With a contract clean-out labor force in place, operators would make the judgement of when their systems needed to be adjusted or emptied.
Process control and machine maintenance are important aspects to be managed when companies are looking to ensure high performing processes are being maintained cost effectively. Zimmark’s Technical Process Management services are helping our client in North Carolina improve their process control and TPM compliance by taking on responsibility for the condition of their metal working fluids, washer fluids and equipment hydraulic systems.
No, most of us don’t want to put contaminated food into our body. Then why would you use contaminated equipment when handling and topping up your machine’s hydraulic systems? The same logic applies with proper equipment lubrication methods. Machines don’t like contaminated oil in their hydraulic systems.
We heard a great line the other day. “It took us 30 years to get here; if we can lay out a plan to get us where we want in just 6 months, I’m all for it!” This statement came from one of our clients, an Engineering Manager who was talking about the state of his facility’s oiling and lubrication program.
Safety is Zimmark’s #1 priority. As contracted guests in our client’s facilities, all Zimmark employees must be both trained and certified in customer, Zimmark and OSHA requirements.
Having spent over 11 years in the automotive industry, working in a cast iron machining environment, I was no stranger to rust. Whether it was found in WIP inventory, at the customer or heaven forbid in our part inventory bank, controlling corrosion was an ongoing challenge. Rust always seemed to be that uninvited guest that would occasionally show up even though you swore you did everything you could to prevent him from coming, and by “everything” I mean all the containment and corrective actions you had every tried after having a rust event.
I was recently visiting a customer facility to conduct a ZQ audit with our Account Supervisor Nick reviewing Zimmark’s onsite Technicians and equipment, focused on our safety & quality systems. During our audit we selected to review a small sump side coalescer that was removing tramp oil from a small machining sump.
Are you spending top dollar on your industrial chemistry but unaware of the water quality it is blended with? The water likely makes up >90% of the solution in your systems. Does your facility have hard water which negatively impacts your manufacturing processes’ chemical performance leading to rust, high chemical consumption and excessive PMs? Do you know how your water quality is impacting the performance of you coolants and wash chemistries?
This post is based on one key premise. Every aspect of manufacturing is a process, every one.
Product independence and complete commercial objectivity gives Zimmark a unique unbiased perspective. Our Independent Fluid Evaluations are designed to test the KPI's that drive cost and impact performance to help our customer’s determine what the optimum product is for their facility. The goal is to reduce their overall operating costs while improving fluid performance, by applying science and data to determine a decision.
Cleaning our Client's part washers as part of their equipment maintenance program to sustain process performance. Great job guys!
Zimmark is presenting the "6 Keys Elements for World Class Manufacturing" at the Reliable Plant Conference in Louisville KY during the week of April 5.
The focus of the presentation will be to highlight that the World Class manufacturing ideal (ie 100% quality, 100% On-Time at the lowest cost possible), is a relentlessly iterative process where companies need to be evaluating all the processes that exist within their facility to identify the ones that are not optimized and/or poorly integrated with their core operations. Since a "chain is only as strong as its weakest Link" many facilities are letting non-core processes limit their profitability and throughput. The challenge with non-core processes is that what makes them non-core is the lack of in-house expertise and/or sustainable robust systems and/or a focused data driven accountable labor force required to ensure the process stays in a controlled and improving state.
In the presentation we identify 6 different process symptoms that need to be assessed to determine if a step change in profitability/availability is possible, Technology is changing so quickly that unless plants are updating their processes to take advantage of these technological improvements, they will have trouble keeping up with world class productivity levels.
We will be presenting on Tuesday April 5, 2016 in Room 101, at 1:30 in the afternoon. Hope to see you there!
Un-managed variability of the Key Performance indicators that impact cost, process performance and quality is the root of all evil in a parts manufacturing environment.
In a parts manufacturing environment, variability is the bane of everyone's existence. As acceptable product specifications get tighter and tighter, the degree of allowable variation continues to shrink. However as companies try and "Lean-out" their process, they realize even variation that exists within acceptable limits can be a significant source of waste or wasteful activity. Variability therefore is either the source of significant manufacturing events requiring urgent containment actions, or it is a source of wasteful activity that needs to be addressed in order to compete in a global market where every cost has to be closely scrutinized and evaluated.
I was visiting a plant last week and heard a familiar tale. We had just completed a Non-Core Process Audit, (where we measure the Key Performance Indicators that drive cost and impact process performance to identify wasteful activity and process risk), and we were reporting our findings. Across the board their coolant concentrations were significantly higher than their posted targets.
Einstein's quote "The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result" can describe many Preventative Maintenance programs today. Every company is under tremendous pressure to reduce costs. They are looking for a different result, a better bottom line, but they are using the same old strategies to try and deliver it.