Sycamore, Illinois - manufacturer of press-fit metal fastening and joining components for the automotive industry, industrial, medical, department of defense and other sectors
Driv-Lok is in an intensely competitive sector, where customers demand certain levels of efficiency. The company had experienced growth in sales to automotive manufacturers, doubling volume on some key parts. The production increases posed some challenges in the company's sorting and packaging department, the final step to ensure non-defective products are released. An assessment revealed that long machine set-up times were causing some delays in shipment.
IMEC and Kishwaukee College teamed up to provide a solution to improve the efficiency of the Sorting department. Several executives participated in a Lean Manufacturing Series at Kishwaukee and a Value Stream Mapping project was executed in the facility to pinpoint areas of waste and identify opportunities for improvement. This led to development of a cross-functional team of Driv-Lok employees to craft an updated plant layout, and reduce change-over times on the equipment.
"The only way we can stay competitive in the market is to take waste out of our facilities," said Becky Metcalf, Executive VP of Driv-Lok. "We had our operators, not our supervisors, be part of the teams. The operators are the people that drive the processes throughout the plant."
Involving the operators in the solution has made the difference at Driv-Lok. "Our operators are so proud. Once you get a key employee to embrace the concepts of Lean, that word spreads and then becomes a daily operating habit."