September 26, 2012
GIW Industries, with facilities in both Groveton and Thomson, Ga., produces slurry pumps. The pumps are used in a variety of settings – such as mining sites and dredge ships – to move often-abrasive mixtures of liquid and solids. The company’s production plants total about 100,000 square feet, and the company has about 500 employees.
In early 2011, the firm was determined to improve its on-time-delivery rate, which was already around 90 percent, and began working with Elliot Price, manager of the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s (GaMEP) Augusta regional office, to analyze, understand and implement the necessary improvements to make this happen.
Price and GaMEP trained GIW Industries officials and employees in root-cause analysis to enable them to pinpoint the reasons for delays and then determine and implement solutions. By doing so, employees were able to identify areas for improvement within the production of impeller, suction liner and shaft sleeve components.
- The amount of time the suction-liner team spends setting up dropped from 37 percent of the total production time to 11 percent, which in turn meant more liners on hand and fewer delivery delays.
- After incorporating various production improvements, GIW Industries’ on-time-delivery rate has improved from 91 percent in 2011 to nearly 94 percent so far in 2012.
- Production improvements have allowed the firm to save about $250,000 a year in labor and material costs.
- The automation and outsourcing of certain processes have reduced the risk of worker injury by decreasing the amount of manual labor they have to perform.
“We are extremely pleased with the help we’ve received from Georgia Tech,” said Shannon Vick, process improvement manager at GIW Industries. “It’s led to real improvements in our facilities.”