IET, Inc.
3539 Glendale Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43614

Case Study 2-04311

Standardized work reaps benefits.

By creating standardized work instructions for all operations on a key machining line, IET helped its client avoid the typical production inefficiencies associated with new operators and new equipment.

The Customer

GM Powertrain, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, designs and manufactures castings, engines and transmissions.

The Challenge

General Motors’ management anticipated major changes in its workforce and, in some cases, process equipment over the next several years. Numerous operators with 30-plus years’ experience would be leaving with invaluable information about their machines and work methods undocumented. New equipment was being brought on-line. Production was sure to suffer if workers who were new to an operation would have to learn from scratch with no benefit from the experience of those who came before them. Rather than face those prospects, the company chose to capture essential knowledge about these operations before the people who possessed the knowledge were no longer available.

The Solution

IET’s engineers focused their efforts on the Gen III/IV Engine Block Machining Line at the GM Powertrain facility in Livonia, MI. This machining line consisted of 22 operations, many of which were being upgraded with new equipment. The engineers interviewed operators, controls engineers and machine installers to glean essential facts about how to run every operation (e.g., equipment start-up/shutdown, troubleshooting, tool change, etc…), and they observed these operations in production mode for themselves. In addition, they referenced relevant information from equipment manufacturers. Combining existing documentation with their own direct observations and interview results, IET’s team of engineers created work instructions that were both easy to understand and helpful in running the operation. When the project ended, IET had written, verified and validated over 3000 pages of standardized work for five major machine types along with detailed gauging instructions.

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