The workstations are designed to ensure that any part needed by an operator is presented directly to them.
An Australian supplier of children’s car safety products has installed a new lean assembly system as part of an ongoing improvement plan looking at ways to improve operator ergonomics, production efficiency and working environment.
Britax Childcare worked with lean systems provider Trilogiq Australia to streamline their production cells and flow of product from stores to lineside.
Britax began by examining all processes from their stores WIP, moulding, assembly and dispatch, to discover where processes could be improved and waste could be eliminated.
According to Britax, Trilogiq worked in partnership with them in developing the ideal concepts and process prior to installation.
The Trilogiq Lean tek system is a visually appealing, meccano set concept that provided quick results from design to installation.
Seven new ergonomic workstations for the assembly areas were custom designed by the lean systems provider.
The new operator friendly workstations incorporate flow through racks, overhead tool rails, out-feed for empty bins, ergonomic assembly systems and quick changeover racks for parts.
Full bins feed forward, and empty bins are placed on an out-feed track so the operator can focus solely on the task of assembling the seats.
A set of central conveyors sets the pace between the cells and conveys the seats between the workstations. Flow-through racks were added later for larger cartons that needed to be fed into the cells.
In the stores area, Trilogiq introduced flexible supermarkets to store components before transferring lineside. The supermarkets were designed to fit under existing pallet racks.
To help address issues with forklifts, Trilogiq designed a 22m long multiple lane storage system for custom boxes containing seat bases. This system provides the transfer of the bases from the moulding area to the assembly point with in-line flow of buffer stock, reducing the need for forklifts in the assembly area.
According to Britax, the implementation of the new system was a good example of a strong supplier to customer relationship to ensure the good results.
It is a credit to everyone that the system ran well from day one with only minimal adjustments made.
Britax says it has dramatically improved the working environment, ergonomics, operator efficiency and material flow and has achieved the company’s goals with improvements in both production efficiency and materials handling.
Forklift traffic has been reduced and significant space saving has been achieved throughout the processing areas setting a foundation for a culture of ongoing continuous improvement.