Cost Reduction in the Accumulator Process in Welding Operations
Santiago Nieves, Igmel
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For the last few weeks, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning manufacturing company Thermo King Arecibo has been increasing the operational cost due to leak problems on the accumulator area in the welding department. The purpose of this project is to find the root cause of the problem causing this increase in defects in order to reduce budgeted cost while maintaining compliance with ISO regulation. Under this panorama the welding department of Thermo King Arecibo determines to look into the process using concept that combined Lean manufacturing techniques and Six Sigma tools and strategies. This Lean Six Sigma Methodology focused on business and process improvements based on decrease of process variation, waste elimination, process improvement and customer satisfaction. This project has been developed under the Lean Six Sigma principles and using DMAIC five-step approach, in order to identify opportunities to enable the company to reduce overall cost and gain efficiencies and breakthrough the welding department operation cost. The plan implementation helped reduce waste by 6.0%, resulting in a saving of more than $3,259.64 per month. As part of the implementation sustainability, a sheet maintenance schedule (SMS) for the robot was created in order to minimize leaks defects due to poor maintenance of the robot. Key words: Accumulator, Lean, Waste, Welding.