DYNAMIC PAINT SOLUTIONS | Value Stream Mapping
In 2005, Robert Pruitt and his parents founded Dynamic Paint Solutions (DPS), a full service metal finishing company. The family-owned firm, located in Eastman, Ga., exclusively serves the aerospace industry, and has grown to 70 employees in the eight years since its inception.
DPS plays a key role for the aerospace industry. The company receives aerospace (primarily metal) parts from machine shops that produce them, inspects the parts for cracks that may have occurred during manufacturing or shipping, then treats and paints the parts. The painted parts are returned to the machine shops that produced them, before being sent on to the final customer for assembly.
Dynamic Paint Solutions not only has to meet stringent quality standards, but must also accommodate production demands that vary considerably over time. Quality standards that must be met include NADCAP and AS 9003 – an inspection and test quality system for use by small build/machine to print organizations. DPS must be able to adjust to meet the individual needs of its customers, who routinely visit and audit the company to ensure compliance.
Customers had expected that it would take no more than five days to process each order, but handling 50,000-70,000 parts of various sizes and configurations per month without being able to project demand was creating issues for production scheduling, shift volume and lead times. DPS management knew it had to smooth out the process to continue meeting customer needs.
Pruitt, CEO of DPS, already had a relationship with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech, and had used the organization for onsite courses and project work. For help in addressing these production issues, Pruitt reached out to Alan Barfoot, GaMEP’s Central Region Manager, and Danny Duggar, a GaMEP project manager.
A value stream mapping exercise of the entire handling process was conducted and upon analyzing the results, Duggar recommended separating the incoming parts into two categories: existing parts versus new parts. He also recommended combining the physical space of two departments to increase communication. By incorporating these changes, DPS was able to decrease takt time, or cycle time, from an average of 8-10 hours per cycle to an average of 30 minutes per cycle.
These same exercises uncovered an opportunity to improve DPS’s paint department. DPS was operating two shifts, using three paint booths that fed into just one curing oven. After discovering that the curing oven was the choke point in the process, DPS added four more curing ovens and two paint booths, creating a one-to-one ratio. Another challenge discovered was contamination in the paint, and to improve the quality, DPS changed the flow of their process by introducing a team approach to each booth/oven operation and decreased the number of shifts from two to one.
The team consists of a painter, a helper, and a quality inspector, who provides constant feedback to the painter so the team can spot and correct issues faster. By making a capital investment and overhauling this department, DPS was able to increase its first-time-quality (FTQ), the percentage of parts manufactured correctly the first time, by 8%, boosting the overall FTQ to a 96% rating.
As a result of these improved processes, along with involvement and support from the CEO, DPS was also able to free up space and resources, creating the capability to expand its business. As a next step, the GaMEP is working with DPS to look at the company’s marketing initiatives to create future business growth opportunities.
- By combining departments and making their processes more efficient, DPS decreased takt time from an average of 8-10 hours per cycle to an average of 30 minutes per cycle.
- DPS streamlined efforts and was able to consolidate its paint operations into one shift.
- By creating teams around each paint booth and having a quality inspector position for each area, DPS increased its FTQ by 8%, bringing the overall rating to 96%.
- By implementing lean practices and freeing up resources, DPS is now able to actively seek additional business opportunities.