Increasing Throughput


Leading company in the manufacture of picture frames needed to increase from 11 production lines to 13 to satisfy customer demand.


-Identified slowest part of the production line and meet with equipment manufacturer to understand equipment capability. The equipment speed was more than adequate. Output limited by other factors.
-Ensured no disruption to key production equipment from downstream of the bottleneck.
-Developed disciplined changeout procedure for saw blades that would dull in the process. Changeout mandated before waste occurred due to dull blades.
-Pre-positioned new blades and tools needed during changeout at each production line. Practiced changeout procedure.
-Ensured raw materials sorted were defect free and pre-positioned next cart of buffer materials adjacent to line for quick change from depleted cart to new cart.
-Established and monitored performance goals.


Cancelled plans to purchase two new lines. Throughput increased by over 30% with no increase in equipment speed. Lowered unit direct labor costs by over 30%. Business profitability was doubled in 6 months.