Several Ingredients in the Productivity Recipe

pressure fryer
Winston Industries, the company that helped Colonel Sanders launch his KFC franchise by working together to develop the pressure fryer, now manufactures a full slate of foodservice equipment.

Prior to embarking on its lean journey in 2007, Leavitt calculates that the typical piece of sheetmetal traveled 1600 ft. before leaving the 75,000-sq.-ft. Winston plant. Assembly lines occupied the center of the 60,000-sq.-ft. factory (400 ft. long by 150ft. wide), surrounded by fabricating and other equipment located on the perimeter.

“Value-stream mapping led us to significantly alter the factory layout (in 2011), which shortened the average piece-part travel distance to just 550 ft.,” says Leavitt.

And, prior to reorganizing its process flow, the plant had focused on reducing turret-press setup times and implementing offline programming. All told, by Leavitt’s calculations, the plant improved productivity by 15 percent by focusing on turret-press setup and programming, and another 15 percent when it reorganized its process flow. In 2012, with its initial laser acquisition, productivity jumped another 3 percent; the SL4 and P4 additions added a whopping 19 percent to the plant’s productivity.

“That’s a 52 percent jump in productivity in just 5 yr.,” exclaims Leavitt.

As if that’s not enough, Leavitt adds that material utilization has jumped considerably with the addition of the SL4, “primarily because the machine does not have to trim around the entire perimeter of the sheet,” he says. “It only trims one side of the blank.”

As a result, material utilization jumped from 73 percent to near 90 percent. As Winston purchases more than $2 million worth of stainless steel per year, Leavitt estimates that the gain in utilization saves the firm more than $230,000 annually.

“And, inventory held onsite has been cut in half,” Leavitt adds, “freeing up a considerable amount of floor space.”

Fortifying Efforts to Diversify

Along with supporting inhouse needs for sheetmetal components, Leavitt sees opportunities to market the capabilities of the SL4 and P4 machines to other manufacturers. For example, Winston Industries, in addition to its catalog of foodservice equipment, also manufactures electronic circuit boards, cable and wire harnesses for several customers, through its Win2uit manufacturing-services subsidiary. Leavitt says that as Win2uit customers visit Winston and witness the performance of the Salvagnini equipment, “they often ask us if we can fabricate their sheetmetal enclosures in addition to their electronic components,” he adds. “We’ve picked up 30 to 35 new sheetmetal-fabrication customers for our new equipment, primarily low-volume (up to a few hundred parts) quick-turnaround (3-4 days) work.

“Salvagnini has become an integral part of our production operations,” Leavitt concludes. “They’re connected to the data stream coming from the machines and can see our production data, identify any hiccups and troubleshoot remotely, as well as perform software updates.” MF

Industry-Related Terms: Thickness, Turret, Run, Stainless Steel, Bending, Center, Gauge, LASER, Lines, Material Utilization
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Salvagnini America, Inc.

Technologies: CNC Punching, Cutting, Fabrication


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