Indium Blog

The Importance of Productivity Part I

  • Indium Corporation

  • Folks,

    Business was good, too good. This $250M+ company could not assemble enough PWBs to meet the company's needs. They had 3 assembly lines and the process engineering team wanted to go to senior management and request another line. Before they did this, they thought it might be best to have someone like me come in and audit their operation to see if they were getting the most out of the 3 lines they had. So I visited their facility. My first question: "How much of the time are your lines up and running." Silence. Murmurs. "Maybe 40%?," was a sheepish attempt. Others then chimed in, "Yeh, at least 40%." But no one knew for sure, as it had never measured. "OK", I said, let's measure it. (Remember past postings…be "Data Driven").

    Since they had 5 process engineers, I assigned each one to take one day a week. Every 30 minutes they would go out to the shop floor, if a line was running they would post a 1 in an Excel spreadsheet, if it is not running they would enter a 0. I came back a month later. What do you think the line uptime from these data was?

    To be continued.