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Lean Progress in the Railcar Business
Written by Umut Ozcan
             With the implementation of Lean Manufacturing back in January of 2007, the ARI Paragould facilities have seen changes.   Changes that were believed to take ARI into a direction that would make us a more competitive force in the market.   These changes are ongoing, utilizing lean tools to eliminate waste in this dynamic market.               The ARI Paragould facility, which is comprised of Tracks 1 and 2 Steel shop, Track 3 Steel Shop,   Tracks 1 and 2 Paint Shop, and of Track 3 Paint Shop have undergone several acts of reformation to bring ARI into a world class force in the industry.   The bar has been set high, and is continuously being raised.               The ARI Paragould facilities have undergone a sequence of events to implement the 5S aspect of Lean.   Tracks 1, 2, and 3 Paint Shops have undergone a full cosmetic reformation that have both raised employee morale and pride in the company they work for, and has also contributed to the continuous decrease in labor hours to paint the cars. Our employees first painted every inch of wall to give the shop a brighter more appealing appearance.   Second, the shop installed a new lighting system that brought visibility to another level. Continuing on improvements, several areas have undergone a lot of cosmetic work and organization reformation. The roof assembly areas of both shops have managed to organize in a manner that has raised its efficiency rate, which was difficult in itself, being that the area has such a limited workspace. The paint prep and blast areas have become a sustainable cleaner environment to work in.   The paint shops are continuously improving to facilitate a sustained atmosphere as part of their ongoing Lean implementations.   The Track 3 Steel Shop has also led in Lean implementation when they modified the roof, ladder, and truck assembly areas as well as reorganizing the entire shops material control issues.   An overabundance of material in a limited workspace created a hazardous work environment as well as created unnecessary waste with too much inventory.   Kitted parts, brought closer to the point of use has been one approach that the steel shop has implemented to create a better work environment. During a slow period for the industry early this year, the Track 3 Steel Shop was able to keep several employees to focus on the changes needed to better the plant.   During that time they were able to build a new mezzanine in the final production area of the shop as well as to do a cosmetic lift to much of the plants machinery and work areas.   The Tracks 1 and 2 Steel Shop has undergone a full cosmetic modification.   All walls and ceilings were also painted as well as a new lighting system installed. “It was like working in a dungeon”, one steel shop worker said. The work environment has changed dramatically, from the organization of materials to the shadow boards for tooling.   All aspects of production are going through or have been through an evaluation to determine the best overall procedures to better the efficiency, quality, and safety of that position.   These activities have also helped our safety program. Our Tracks 1 and 2 paint shop has not had a recordable accident for over two years and is currently strongly headed towards a third. The Track 3 Paint Shop has had only one over the same time frame. All steel shop tracks had gone a full year without any OSHA recordable through 2006 and part of 2007.   Keeping our employees safe is our number one priority and thus far has been directly impacted by Lean implementation throughout the facilities.               We have added self directed work teams in the Paint and Steel shops to identify and eliminate waste within their areas. These employees using Kaisen events, POUS, 5S, Value stream mapping, and single piece flow have made a significant difference. We are now able to produce car consistently under the standard allotted hours. The areas affected by these teams include the Second 90 degree Rotator on Track 1, the Second 90 degree rotator on Track 2, the Truck Assembly line that feeds both Track 1 and 2.   The hazardous materials facilities for both paint shops have also benefited from the team, plus several areas have also forgone such reformations to better production efficiency and overall appearance.   Procedural changes are also being made, and will ultimately demonstrate an improved efficiency on top of the rates being recorded now.             We have also implemented a Kanban inventory system on key components with the help of Material Control Dept throughout the shops.   Inventory waste has been significantly reduced by bringing in the right inventory at the right time. We have reduced our inventory by over $1M and new parts are continuously being added to this list to further reduce our carrying cost.   Lean Manufacturing has been brought to ARI and has taken it by the hand to be shown a way into a better future.   Now ARI has the means and know how to take the next step to continue its prosperity as a world class company in the market. greenbelt exam
Written by moon
hi all   am taking the lean sixsigma / green belt in our company now and after two days i will have exam on it please please help me in solve the Q . in the excel sheet as the exam will be the same help me pleassssssssssssssssssssssse.

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Lean Six Sigma Groups
Written by Steven Bonacorsi
Hi, my name is Steven Bonacorsi and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. I would like to add you to my professional network   Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you and your business.   A good group to join is the Lean Six Sigma Group   Another good groups is Advanced Innovation Methodology   Supply-Chain Operations Reference (SCOR)   Steven Bonacorsi Lean Six Sigma MBB, VP 603-401-7047 You are also welcome to add me to your professional network, please send me an invite to the LinkedIn URL below.

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