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Embed code for: Genie Improvements 090416
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Based on the fact that Genie is a great company to work for and management seems receptive to improvements in making the company a better place to work, here are several observations I made in the past two weeks working as a Water Strider on the Mini line.
As a Water Strider I was required to do an inordinate amount of unnecessary walking that was wasteful and very hard on my body. I am not one that is afraid of hard work but the way this particular line is designed, it is less than productive. This could be changed by making very minor changes to the existing process in feeding the Mini line.
By creating “cells” for each cart and putting the parts required for a particular build station right next to each other (i.e. motors, battery and hydraulic cables, fittings, controllers etc.) the amount of time and energy to build up the cart could be reduced. This would be a minor change to the existing process and would also eliminate the chaos created when several carts are vying for the same space at the same time (see Fig. 1.)
“Phase Two” would be a totally new look at the process itself. By bringing the powdercoated parts directly to the supermarket, you can eliminate the cart and additional handling of the parts. Reducing the amount of times (as well as time) the parts are handled increases the lean process. This will also ensure no parts are missing or incorrect in the build process. After the door assembly is completed the cart then is delivered to the line for installation. (see Fig. 2).
There needs to be a 5S of the area. Many of the part’s bins that require parts to be picked are poorly if not marked at all. The Tribal Knowledge of parts and what bins they’re picked from created a problem my first week. The lack of properly labeling the bins actually caused a line stoppage one day as the wrong part (a pin) was picked and installed on several units and thus required the rework of several units. Tribal Knowledge also makes it difficult for a new TM to know how to build up the cart. There must be paperwork with the cart that will tell the TM if the build-up is for United Rentals, Japan, Australia etc.
There are Service/Parts binders and large product decals that are just plain filthy. The binders in question are three ring service and parts manuals that are rarely used (Australian customers) as well as the large decals for the platforms. (A lot of this may be attributed to the major demolition in the middle of the factory.) Maybe the binders as well as the decals should be covered. One of the processes requires the TM to remove their gloves in putting the Owner’s Manual packet together. The pages are then put in one by one into a plastic sleeve. After talking with the vendor it turns out that Moses Lake as well as Building 3 get the packets delivered already assembled in the plastic sleeve. This not only saves time but ensures that the documentation package is kept clean for the customer.
After the parts are powder coated, the TM’s are required to use disk sanders and small paint cans to rectify any paint defects. My concern is that no one wears any type of dust protection PPG (i.e. face masks) and I can see the paint dust and overspray. There should also be an additional exhaust system installed as well as proper PPG.
I hope that as Genie looks to the next 50 years, consideration is given to robotics and automation for the assembly of the Aerial Work Platforms. Several recommendations would be the addition of a robot that would install the electric motors to the door. (http://www.kuka-robotics.com/usa/en/), another would be adding Automated Guided Vehicles- such as a Smart Cart AGC. (https://www.bastiansolutions.com/solutions/technology).
Both of these changes would not eliminate any jobs, but would make the line leaner and more efficient.
I have other recommendations that would greatly improve some of the processes but unfortunately time is of the essence and I must now look for a job that is in line with my knowledge and experience. Congratulations and good luck on your next 50 years!
Gary J. Selke
firstname.lastname@example.org company to work for and management seems receptive to improvements in making the company a better place to work, here are several observations I made in the past two weeks working as a Water Strider on the Mini line.
I have other recommendations that would greatly improve some of the processes but unfortunately time is of the essence and I must now lo