VISUALize the Rebound –  Graphicast’s  Path  Through the Dark Recession Forest
Graphicast, Inc. <ul><li>Founded in 1978 </li></ul><ul><li>Located in Jaffrey, NH </li></ul><ul><li>Contract manufacturer ...
A Long Time VISUAL User <ul><li>Implemented VISUAL in July 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>The impetus for selecting VISUAL was the...
Some Scheduling Problems Persisted <ul><li>The machine shop was booked solid 8 weeks in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Normal s...
What’s behind Lean Scheduling <ul><li>Lean scheduling  is based on Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC) introduced in th...
What’s behind Lean Scheduling - continued <ul><li>TOC scheduling relies on three components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Drum” ...
System With an External Constraint Market too small for your capacity – the constraint  DRUM ROPE Work Order Release SHIPP...
The Impact of Lean Scheduling <ul><li>Lead times dropped to four weeks from sixteen weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Practically el...
The Impact of Lean Scheduling - continued <ul><li>Reduced Inventory by 30% </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freed up about $100,000 o...
A minimal amount of oversight day to day <ul><li>Simple reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>VISUAL Planned Load </li></ul></ul><...
A minimal amount of oversight day to day - continued <ul><li>Lean Scheduling efficiently reflects our day to day operation...
“ Driving Business Innovation to Improve Business Performance” <ul><li>Savings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From day one of the L...
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Lean Scheduling and Theory of Constraints

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A summary review of Graphicast's successful adoption of VISUAL Lean Scheduling software.

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Lean Scheduling and Theory of Constraints

  1. 1. VISUALize the Rebound – Graphicast’s Path Through the Dark Recession Forest
  2. 2. Graphicast, Inc. <ul><li>Founded in 1978 </li></ul><ul><li>Located in Jaffrey, NH </li></ul><ul><li>Contract manufacturer of machined, zinc alloy castings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In-house design, mold making, casting, machining capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proprietary, graphite mold casting process creates high density castings with exceptional surface finish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most applications are high valued added machine components </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. A Long Time VISUAL User <ul><li>Implemented VISUAL in July 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>The impetus for selecting VISUAL was the scheduling capability </li></ul><ul><li>VISUAL consolidated all operational and financial activity </li></ul><ul><li>We developed numerous Crystal reports running off the VISUAL database </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide detailed analysis of sales, financial, and operational information for fine tuning the business </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Some Scheduling Problems Persisted <ul><li>The machine shop was booked solid 8 weeks in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Normal shop floor issues wreaked havoc with the schedule </li></ul><ul><li>The schedule wasn’t pulling jobs in if previous jobs finished early </li></ul><ul><li>Rush orders were very disruptive to the schedule and caused late shipments </li></ul><ul><li>The schedule tried to break into jobs to improve lead times </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, the schedule was not able to efficiently reflect the nature of our business. We needed a different scheduling solution. Fortunately, we found the solution just before the economy collapsed. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What’s behind Lean Scheduling <ul><li>Lean scheduling is based on Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC) introduced in the business novel, “The Goal” </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizing TOC in production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the constraint that limits the throughput of the system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relieve or eliminate the constraint to free the system to operate at its peak level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you have a production constraint, add extra shifts, add a second machine or use unconstrained machines to produce the same part </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you have a “between the ears” constraint, change restrictive policies and procedures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you have a market constraint, increase throughput (sales revenue) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What’s behind Lean Scheduling - continued <ul><li>TOC scheduling relies on three components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Drum” – The pace of the “constraint” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Buffer” – Some amount of WIP or time that protects the constrained component </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Rope” – A signal to upstream operations to release work into the system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TOC thinking is consistent with Lean and Six Sigma </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use TOC to focus on constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Lean or Six Sigma techniques to improve and stabilize operations </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. System With an External Constraint Market too small for your capacity – the constraint DRUM ROPE Work Order Release SHIPPING BUFFER - TIME
  8. 8. The Impact of Lean Scheduling <ul><li>Lead times dropped to four weeks from sixteen weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Practically eliminated overtime </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Savings of about $100,000 per year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Went to four day work week </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bonus to employees for losing overtime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced electric bill by 15% </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Impact of Lean Scheduling - continued <ul><li>Reduced Inventory by 30% </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freed up about $100,000 of cash </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Effectively doubled plant capacity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall plant utilization is about 50% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plenty of capacity to handle rush orders without impacting on-time deliveries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No increase in equipment or employees needed to grow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major issue is now increasing throughput </li></ul>
  10. 10. A minimal amount of oversight day to day <ul><li>Simple reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>VISUAL Planned Load </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VISUAL Resource Operations Buffer Status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plant Wide Buffer Status - Crystal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simple scheduling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Floor supervisors decide where to run jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal management involvement </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. A minimal amount of oversight day to day - continued <ul><li>Lean Scheduling efficiently reflects our day to day operations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rush orders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity planning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Very quick “what-if” analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing or decreasing bookings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact of overtime, personnel levels, vacations or absences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We do not have a scheduling person </li></ul>
  12. 12. “ Driving Business Innovation to Improve Business Performance” <ul><li>Savings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From day one of the Lean Scheduling transformation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Payback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 ½ months for the entire investment in Lean Scheduling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fingertip Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lean Scheduling gave us a rapid and efficient response tool to the current economic crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recognition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphicast received a 2009 PM100 award from Managing Automation Media for the Lean Scheduling project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Progressive Manufacturing” awards were bestowed on the 100 companies deemed to have most effectively used innovative methods to improve business performance. </li></ul></ul></ul>
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