Content related to ‘packaging’

On The Road To Zero Waste, $20 At A Time

On The Road To Zero Waste, $20 At A Time Posted on:

GAF’s Cobra® Ridge Vent plant, located in the northern Atlanta suburb of Cumming, GA, is a bright, highly automated, state-of-the-art facility — the type one might associate more with the production of silicon wafers than roofing ventilation products. The company and the team that runs this facility take its environmental role seriously. This includes waste management, and after a three-year effort, the plant recently announced the achievement of Zero Manufacturing Waste ahead of schedule. This GAF plant makes five different models of ridge vent for different applications and regions and has produced more than 20 million vents without a customer complaint, while practicing Lean Manufacturing techniques extensively. For those new to the concept of Lean Manufacturing (often referred to merely as “Lean”), this is a process and approach that convenes process improvement teams (sometimes called Kaizen teams) to make a continuous series of small improvements to an operation. When properly practiced, it can result in a highly efficient, flexible manufacturing operation that runs at very high yield rates. Lean is built around the concept of “value streams”, which follow the process of value creation from beginning to end. As an example, the value stream could be the process of ordering polypropylene, all the way through to injection-molding a ridge vent and shipping it. Or it could be the process of tearing off and installing a roofing system. The concept can be applied equally in offices, job sites, or production floors — everything along the way that doesn’t add value to the customer should be considered and improved. Most processes have some form of waste — unnecessary counting steps, waiting for tools and equipment, work in progress, product changeovers, or raw materials that don’t become part of the finished product. These are all targets for elimination by Lean techniques. What’s different about Lean is the focus on value streams as opposed to departments. The Lean approach focuses on the whole process, rather than a single step. Anything that hangs up the flow of production needs to be modified, removed, or streamlined, and once you remove one obstruction, you keep heading downstream to find and remove the next — making that entire stream flow smoothly is your team’s responsibility, not another department’s. By following these streams of value creation through the plant and process, and by asking those that actually run it to be involved in its development and improvement, the Lean approach can be very effective. And even though it sounds like a manufacturing-specific approach, Lean, at its core, is really… …Read More…