Record achieved via hard work and identification of capacity via OpEx initiatives
New Berlin, WI, December 1, 2010 -- Low Voltage Drives, New Berlin, WI produced over 10,000 Low Voltage AC Drives in the month of November – a record, and the first time the facility has ever achieved such a milestone. The record was achieved at 11:42 AM (CET) on Wednesday, November 24th, just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.
How was Record Achieved?
“Our team has been focused for several months on increasing productivity to meet customer demand, without needing to add capital investment,” pointed out George Lord, managing director of ABB LV Drives. Ahmad Ashour, a six-sigma black belt, and manager of Operational Excellence, along with Paul Jacob, manager of manufacturing, engaged production members and team, via Kaizen events, to identify opportunities for greater efficiencies, and deployed personnel fully, while optimizing their tasks. “This work was revealing,” Ashour said, “because we were able to find capacity and channel that into improving productivity.”
Dennis Schumacher, manager of supply chain, was able to keep the pipeline of materials loaded during global shortages, and Daniel Beaudet, manager of quality, kept team members vigilant regarding internal and external performance requirements. James Carlin, manager of logistics, meanwhile, complemented the OpEx work with a sharper focus on just-in-time delivery of materials.
“Net-net,” said Lord, “we created ‘free capacity,’ meaning capacity that did not require capital investment, and that increased(s) our production effectiveness by 50 percent. Put simply, that means the ability to produce significantly more units with our existing resources.”
“This achievement is a highlight of an extremely remarkable year for ABB drives,” Aaron Aleithe and Lord told the gathered employees,” who marked the occasion with a cascade of falling balloons, and the 10,000th unit finished in silver. All members of the “10,000 Drives Club” earned a fleece, distinguished with a badge made uniquely in honor of the event. Aleithe, the general manager both for LV Drives and LV Drives Services, noted that the production record also is pivotal in helping the LVD business work toward record sales for the year. “This kind of dedication and hard work is shortening our order-to-shipment times, too – and that is a key value that we offer to our customers.”
Production numbers were posted each day, so team leads could apprise all personnel of how the pursuit of the record was going. The achievement was shared in real time with the hundreds of employees on the New Berlin Campus on Wednesday via the public address system.
“Challenges like this tap the best in us,” Aleithe noted, “and I congratulate everyone within the LV Drives business who made this possible. The achievement is all the more remarkable in an economy that continues to recover slowly, and a global supply situation which is very difficult at the moment,” he said.