LEAN IN THE METALS INDUSTRY
The Metals industry offers many challenges for the implementation of Lean methodology due to some constraints that are related to the nature of the industry. Large lot production, technical complexity, maintenance issues and a lack of consistency within the processes can present unique challenges that require bespoke solutions.
At LMAC, our consultants have been strategically deploying Lean principles across a broad spectrum of organisations in the Metals industry over many years.
Our experience extends through all parts of the sector including:
CASE STUDY 1: CASTING, FORGING AND MACHINING PRODUCTIVITY LIFT
AW Fraser produces and supplies continuous cast and centrifugally cast bronze alloys, hollow and solid brass extrusions and precision machined components from a variety of alloys. Their manufacturing plant comprises of a copper alloy foundry, brass extrusion mill and modern CNC machine shop. It’s the combination of these 3 processes under 1 roof that provides their competitive advantage in quality and lead time to their clients across the world.
The GFC combined with severe exchange rate challenges placed an increased focus upon profitability. Their approach was not to rip cost out, but to invest in increasing margins through output increase in a broader range of products.
Initially sceptical of Lean through past experience, the CEO and Senior Leadership Team looked at the evidence of opportunities objectively. Their mandate was clear – the Lean activity must deliver sustainable bottom line results.
At a glance:
$1.5m annual cost benefit through productivity lift
$1m material yield improvement
Increase in production rates of 20%