Second Shop Floor Trial
In early June, we attempted a second trial for a week, with two shifts working. By this time, the contractors had recruited and trained additional workers. On the first day, 11 machines were shifted. Thereafter, it improved steadily, till by the end of the week we were able to move 14 machines. The second trial indicated that the target of 17-18 machines per day was within reach. From a position where we needed to double the resources to get six or seven machines moved a day, the team had achieved double that number with a minor increase in resources.
In August, we put the new machine shifting plan into action. The crew members understood the new system with the experience gained in the two earlier trials. They felt challenged and became very motivated. By now they were used to working with the intern, and started seeking his guidance. As before, he kept accurate records, with process charts for each machine movement. On the first day, we moved 13 machines, but this rate improved during the week to 15 machines per day. Careful analysis showed the weak points, which were mainly in coordination and communication.
By day 8, the team managed 17 machines per day. By the end of the second week, they were moving 18-19 machines per day. The overtime work reduced dramatically. Eventually, the shifting program invariably ended by the middle of the second shift. The entire operation of shifting 500 machine tools was completed in 28 days.