Turner Medical, manufacturer of medical machinery, creates innovative products in the medical field that help to save clients’ lives. Their facility is located in Athens, Alabama.
Turner Medical sought assistance for implementing sustainability practices at their Athens facility. They wished to improve their bottom line through Lean concepts, energy saving best practices, and reducing environmental waste.
Turner Medical Athens facility received assessment from the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) of the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). The assessment took place between August 2011 and March 2012. Assistance was received as part of the Alabama E3 (Economy, Energy, Environment) initiative which helps create manufacturing leadership through sustainability.
Lean assessments as well as energy assessments were conducted in order to identify opportunities for the best use of resources and capabilities. Tools and procedures used during this assessment included Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), Ultrasonic Leak Detector, and Light Meter.
The assessments performed by the UAH-ATN team yielded several opportunities for improvement. The Lean assessment showed changes that could made at the strategic level to improve things such as workplace organization, downtime, and Total Productive Maintenance. The EPA’s Simplified GHG Emissions Calculator was also used to determine the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the facility. The assessment showed that motor management and lighting systems were the two largest opportunities for energy savings as well as the $4,500 a year that could be saved from repair the air leaks that were identified.
Lean implementation training was also given to employees at the facility so that continuous improvements can be identified and sustained on a regular basis.
Specific results obtained from the assessments included:
- Reduced changeover time by 45% over the baseline time
- Staff now have the ability to leverage what they learned in this Kaizen event to many other mills in the facility
With the recommendation of the UAH-ATN team the Turner Medical facility was able to replace their lighting system with a more efficient one for a savings estimated at around $ 26,000 a year.
For the full case study click here