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Lean Principles

Training was done in May 2006 that included staff and management from Lasco production in which facilitation and presentation of Ecology and WMS was done. This training focused on tools, terminologies of environment and Lean manufacturing. It also touched on plans for communication and joint workmanship; this formed the backbone for Lasco staff to critically think on how to better their working areas.
As seen from Lasco Bathware (2007), this training also involved examples and slides that could show how certain tools could be used with Lean e.g. addition of a “process waste box” to “house of Lean” image to concentrate on energy, waste and other emissions, which was also incorporated with a process mapping chart. Distinct causes and their examples were then easily noticed after the waste ranking management was done. Form such discussions was given an example of a business in Washington that managed its harmful wastes by implementation of the methods.
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) Event
This was done in four days and had two parts with main aims being; review of Lean strategies both for manufactural and environmental, provide acrylic and FRP lines with a completion of current and future state value stream maps, noting and quantifying main setbacks on environment and production and then note target areas for kaizen event.
Current state VSM event witnessed few mapping training methods then chart analysis of acrylic and FRP lines. This was supported with fifteen staff from Lasco and four Ecology staff, in attendance was other shift leads to represent FRP spray, shipping and others, Lasco Bathware (2007). This made priority in other areas like; reduced overspray and spray thickness, removal of acetone cleaning tool, reduced finished units inventory and long acrylic setup time and smooth process of packing and shipping.
Kaizen Event 3- Acrylic Mold setup and Changeover Reduction
            This final event aimed at a reduced acrylic mold changeover timing which happened to operate at two shifts a day and producing about 114 to171 units in a shift but as of February 2008, it operated at one. The process begins with heating the sheet up to 300-400 F depending on material which is then placed in a vacuum and takes the shape of mold. Acrylic shell backside is then reinforced with fiberglass resin catalyst system while the backside of the tube is sanded and finished, piping is done to water jet models after which the units are weighed and inspected for quality.
According to Lasco Bathware (2007), this event was based on tools like changeover reduction, kanban and others together with joint thinking. This observation gave hints on improvements like cutting out single mold changeover time by half. Areas that needed improvement were; layout of floor spacing, molds position in the press, rim taping and foil position on screens.
The end of the events saw the operator get 20% reduction in time for a single mold changeover and after installation of the first lift and as a result of a change to a more durable deflector foil, time reduction was 15.9 min, Lasco Bathware (2007). The timings are expected to be uniform after installation of all shifts and further more time will be saved after successful installation of silicon seals.

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