At SPM, we encourage a culture of lean and continuous thinking, which promotes innovation and change throughout all levels of our company. By challenging the status quo, we find that those closest to the work drive the greatest improvements to the surrounding processes. Our Continuous Improvement (CI) program enables team members to make suggestions that will improve our safety, quality, costs, and productivity. Team members can submit their CI ideas through our ERP system, which ensures that everyone has the opportunity to make their voice heard.
The driving force behind our CI process is our Rewards & Recognition Program. Every quarter, we recognize 10 of the best suggestions and reward the top 3. Quarterly winners also have the chance of being selected for the top suggestion of the year and receiving our grand prize of $1,000.00. Through this program, we can reward our team members for improving our company and processes.
Our ERP system documents all of the processes occurring on the manufacturing floor, but it needs to be updated in real-time or downstream processes will slow. The powder coat line is dynamic and always in motion, so team members did not have the time to manually log the completion of every work order as soon as they finished them.
When the pieces of a work order are hung on the line, special tag pieces are hung in front of and behind the work order. These tag pieces have a barcode that corresponds to that work order in our ERP. A barcode scanner is positioned in front of the paint booths so that the tags are scanned as they pass by. This information allows our system to track how much time passes between the first and last pieces entering the booth.
Employees often had trouble seeing forklifts coming, especially around corners where vision is limited. This presented a serious safety issue for the forklift driver and walking employees.
Blue LED safety lights were purchased and added to forklifts and angled to shine ahead of and behind them. These safety lights help employees see the forklifts from a distance and around corners, which eliminates the risk of near misses and accidents by the forklift drivers.
The Powder Coat department had to clean out their powder pumps for every color, which cost extra time and money.
Our machining department milled tube mounts so that we can have multiple pumps dedicated to specific colors.
The Engineering department did not have a way to stop the production of a part before an operation is started.
Our engineers created the ERP Engineering Review Process. This allows the Engineering department to add review operations to a part router.