Ransohoff and AAM completed their first lean innovative workshop at the AAM plant Guanajuato, Mexico. Curt Buttermore and Pankaj Patel from American Axle listened to their internal customers who questioned “How can lean manufacturing practices could be applied to a cleaning systems to address a number of key concerns”.
AAM Mexico is rapidly expanding and floor space, operator efficiency, and PM down time are now major concerns to ensure production volumes are achieved. AAM reached out to their supplier base about their lean concerns and Ransohoff stepped up and offered their assistance but putting on a lean workshop in Mexico. Ransohoff formed a team headed by Greg Allen, Ransohoff’s own innovation engineer whose favorite quote from Peter Drucker formed the outline for the meeting “The buyer rarely buys what the seller thinks he’s selling”. The workshop included employees from all departments of AAM including maintenance, engineering, and plant work flow and layout. The workshop format used an on line survey to gather information prior to the meeting coupled with group exercises and idea capturing yellow cards. The basics of the workshop was an open dialog flow of information to ensure all departments had equal input in all aspects of the system.
The outcome of the meeting will be a new system that addresses the open concerns while ensuring the overall cost of the new systems are held at a minimum. Curt and Pankaj both committed that this format was great and they feel this will open up the “team approach” between all levels of the plant and corporate engineering and they look forward to working with Ransohoff on the list of new ideas.