MES Software Streamlines Huge Lean ProjectJanuary 1, 2019
Carlisle Brake and Friction manufactures braking products for construction, aerospace, agriculture, military, racing, mining and other on- and off-highway uses. The 101-year-old company, with annual sales of $300 million and 1600 employees, faces pressures similar to those of traditional manufacturers, including off-shore competition from companies in lower-wage regions. Compounding that is a wide manufacturing footprint that pressures product costs. For example, a plant in Tulsa, OK, provided parts to another plant in Medina, OH, for finishing, requiring transportation of parts between plants for the final steps. The need to buffer to account for transportation time increased work-in-process (WIP) inventories.
Also, various process-flow factors combined to make scheduling complex and difficult, adding to WIP inventories.
To combat all of these issues, management of Carlisle Brake and Friction sought to increase manufacturing efficiency. Ultimately, management decided to shutter the Tulsa operation and move the machinery and processes to Medina.
This huge lean project had several major sub projects: shutting down Tulsa, moving Tulsa’s equipment to Medina, and expanding the Medina plant by 158,000 sq. ft., installing new equipment and setting up the newly designed value streams. All told, Carlisle is investing $50 million over two years in this effort.