Excessive manual labor can be a costly contributor to inefficiencies and increased operational costs. For one of the largest manufacturers of paving equipment in the world, the 3M Cubitron sanding discs helped them meet their manufacturing challenges head on!
- Current Process – inexpensive abrasive disc for grinding/sanding metal work after welding. This is a critical step to prep their product for painting. The customer has a high standard on their aesthetics and they are grinding and prepping their product for paint all day with multiple operators
- Opportunity – An excessive amount of time, material usage, waste and excess labor was needed to complete these tasks. Increases in the production schedule even put further demands on productivity creating an opportunity.
- 3M Solution – We introduced the new 3M Cubitron II Fiber Disc which was specifically developed by 3M and “cuts” instead of “plowing”, reducing the force needed to grind metal and generates less heat to drastically improve the life of the material and reduce labor. We could increase productivity by allowing the operators to work more efficiently with less effort producing the end result much faster.
- Evaluation – We tested the product first, then brought in a month supply of the new 3M cubitron discs to compare the material usage from their prior month using their current discs and get feedback from the operators. This was a huge success. The operators immediately noticed they felt less fatigued at the end of their day/ shift and were able to finish work faster. The customer also saved material usage as these 3M discs were documented to last 2X to 4X longer than their existing discs. This is a significant win in material usage and less downtime for disc change over.
- ROI Return on Investment – The slight increase in material cost was no match for the savings we gained in material, labor and increased productivity.
- VMI – We also implemented a Vendor Managed inventory program to keep the operators stocked with product and save them time from walking around the plant to restock their old product.