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Article | July 31, 2004
Sylvania shatters changeover paradigm (sidebar)
At its St. Mary’s, PA, plant, lamp manufacturer OSRAM Sylvania reduced the number of parts for changeover on a key cartoner from 36 to zero. It also reduced changeover time by more than 90%.
This bow to lean manufacturing permits Sylvania’s production to align itself better to just-in-time manufacturing according to packaging superintendent Mel Interiano. In late 2002 Interiano brought in Jerry Claunch & Associates. Along with Sylvania personnel Claunch focused on one packaging line the most critical part of which was a 5-year-old cartoner that inserts lamps (incandescent light bulbs) into cartons or fluted sleeves. “We were extremely impressed by what he did here” says Interiano. “This was due to his experience and especially his creativity. Claunch captures the changeover as it is he presents the changeover in detail in a very user-friendly format that’s easy to break down and analyze and then he helped us brainstorm to improve it.”Key to the changes was modifying the cartoner which involved adding five air cylinders to guiderails and gates. Quick-connect fasteners and clamps for guides such as a hand-retractable spring plunger (shown) replaced traditional nuts-and-bolts connections. Changeovers which previously were made by a mechanic are now made by a machine operator.The improvements mean the operation can make more changeovers. In fact Sylvania increased its number of changeovers fourfold which improves the company’s market response according to Interiano.“Claunch not only brought tangible results at an attractive cost this approach allows traditional manufacturers like ourselves to break—in this case shatter—certain paradigms to continue to get faster and faster” says Interiano. “Quick changeovers are now part of our philosophy here.”
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