IET, Inc.
3539 Glendale Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43614

Case Study 1-08761

Process design dictates facility design.

Facility constraints can prevent a process from performing at its peak potential. IET worked with the client to maximize process performance by designing a facility around the ideal process.

The Customer

A global specialty chemicals and materials company serving a diverse range of end markets.

The Challenge

Due to the volume requirements of new aerospace programs coming on-line, the customer recognized the need to increase production capacity by building a new facility. This was an opportunity to incorporate newly developed high-speed process technology within a facility that would be designed to enable the adoption of lean principles in production and laboratory operations, thereby minimizing overall manufacturing costs.

The Solution

The customer selected IET to provide the lean manufacturing design for the new facility. Using a disciplined, lean engineering approach, IET engineers carefully analyzed the key manufacturing requirements for the facility: production volumes by part number; standard and non-standard manufacturing process flows; laboratory testing process flows; storage space for purchased materials, work in process and finished goods; and production and testing equipment. IET conducted detailed work measurement studies on mixing, film coating, prepreg, slit/rewind and narrow web slitting operations to quantify current Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) levels and identify specific logistics and personnel issues that must be designed out to achieve targeted OEE performance. Computer simulation techniques were used to validate conclusions about production and laboratory equipment requirements, as well as work in process and finished goods storage space.

Armed with physical requirements for the lean manufacturing operation, IET developed layout concepts that supported smooth material flow throughout the facility while maintaining high cleanliness levels in material conversion areas. The agreed upon conceptual layouts provided a basis for IET to conduct an economic analysis of alternative material handling options, as well as overall shift and manning requirements.

By working closely with the client and maintaining intense communication between all parties, IET was able to specify a lean manufacturing process capable of producing the anticipated volumes within the client’s project timeline. IET’s recommendations specified requirements for production and laboratory equipment; freezer storage space for in-process and finished goods; ambient and climate-controlled storage space for purchased materials; material handling equipment; manning levels and shifts for various production volume scenarios; and the fundamental layout concept that simplified material flow through the facility. These recommendations drove the detailed conceptual facility design specifications that were the necessary output from this stage of the project.

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