Recently, GMN Aerospace conducted our fourth Value Stream Team (VST) workshop with the help of Brian A. McCarthy and Brandon D. Harris from The Boeing Company. The focus of this VST event revolved around the aerospace fabrication cell at GM Nameplate (GMN). The aerospace fabrication cell is a high volume area consisting of four core processes and is the last step in the aerospace manufacturing process before parts arrive in the quality inspection department.
Within one week, the aerospace fabrication cell was completely transformed into a flow configuration, meaning that process steps are arranged to flow in a natural order to minimize cycle time and travel distance. This feat was accomplished using a cross-functional team of 13 to move several heavy machines, thousands of steel rule dies, and countless shelves.
The most significant outcomes of the workshop included transporting the digital printer and flatbed plotter downstairs to the cell, the creation of a water spider position (a person who supports production by staging jobs to increase operator efficiency), and a magnetic die system invented by GMN fabrication area manager, Mike Sorrels, to accelerate set-up changeover times on the clamshell presses.
This transformational workshop is another example of how GMN Aerospace proactively leans forward to support Boeing as it looks to its supply chain for support with increasing production rates and cost down efforts. The continual success of these VST workshops is a testament to the power of lean manufacturing and Kaizen, through which GMN Aerospace can achieve better results for our customers.
GMN Aerospace would like to thank our Boeing representatives for being our facilitators and motivators, as well as the cross-functional team and maintenance crew for their great contributions and extreme “can-do” attitudes.