PCB Machining Solutions, Inc.


> RESULTS

  • Obtained 7 Green Belt & 3 Black Belt certifications
  • On-time delivery increased to over 97%
  • 95% decrease in backlog of past due orders
  • 8% increase in total throughput
  • $1.2 million financial impact estimated - translates to an average ROI of over 2500% per project
  • Removed from limited status by key customer
  • Numerous new business opportunities realized

> COMPANY

PCB Machining Solutions, Inc. (owned by PCB Group ) is a manufacturer of precision parts for aerospace, automotive and various other industrial applications. The company, established in 1994, has been under its present ownership since 2004. Most of the company's products are sold to three local companies, all of whom are part of major national and international supply chains. High-profile companies such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus and NASA produce products that include components manufactured by PCB Machining.

The company conducts manufacturing operations in Lackawanna, NY within a modern, single story facility of 20,000 square feet on a three shift basis and employs about 50 people. Although there is extensive competition for machined precision parts, the primary competition for PCB Machining is actually its major customers. Therefore, it is critically important that PCB Machining continue to produce components with superior quality at a lower cost than its customers can produce internally.

> SITUATION

PCB Machining experienced poor on-time delivery with its main customers. This level of performance resulted in the company being placed on limited status (i.e. ineligible for new business consideration) by one of its three key customers. Also,expectations of company management and customers were not being met. Company management recognized that improvement to both internal processes and methods was needed in order to resolve these problems.

In 2001, annual sales were tracking toward a decline in excess of 10% from the previous year. Much of this erosion was due to the relocation of customers' plants outside of the North East and foreign competition, particularly from Asia, where low cost imports were penetrating the domestic industrial base. In addition, the economic decline within several key market segments, including automotive and appliances, further contributed to this business decline. The situation was further exacerbated by the fact that the company had put minimal emphasis on new business development, either new customer or market segment opportunities, for a number of years.

> SOLUTION

After thoroughly scoping the situation, Insyte Consulting and company management believed that a Lean Six Sigma methodology would enable the company to better determine root causes and subsequently introduce the appropriate corrective actions to these problems. Six Sigma addresses process variation and is very compatible with lean manufacturing activities that are intended to address process waste. Ten individuals from both management and production were trained and certified as Six Sigma Green Belts (7) and Black Belts (3) in order to facilitate the introduction of Lean Six Sigma into the organization. Insyte Consulting was selected over several other vendors to provide the training for this initiative due to its hands-on approach and offsite facility.

Lean Six Sigma training was provided in half-day, weekly classroom sessions. In addition to the formal training, each participant was required to successfully complete a project that applied the concepts presented during the training sessions. The participants, divided into teams of 2-3 individuals, addressed specific problem areas described below:

Green Belt: three projects were initiated for the purpose of addressing issues prevalent on the shop floor - specifically the saber mill, the rotary cell and de-burring areas. In general the intent was to find means to: reduce tooling time extend tooling life accelerate changeover times Black Belt: the three candidates worked together to determine opportunities to significantly improve on-time delivery and subsequently customer satisfaction. The four teams actively worked to evaluate the problems and develop solutions based on Lean Six Sigma principles and techniques presented in the formal training. Significant progress was made in resolving each of the problems addressed with the direction and guidance of the Insyte Consulting instructor.

All ten individuals received their respective Green Belt or Black Belt certifications and PCB Machining received exceptional and immediate impact as a result of these four projects. On-time delivery increased from 77% to consistently above 97%, reducing the back log of past due orders by 95%. Overall total throughput increased by over 8%. The financial impact of these improvements is estimated at $1.2 million, which translates to an average ROI of over 2500% per project. As a result of this initiative PCB Machining was removed from limited status by a key customer and is realizing numerous other new business opportunities. Overall the company now has stronger manufacturing teams with improved responsiveness and increased accountability at all levels of the organization.


" The Six Sigma training through Insyte Consulting provided a disciplined approach to problem solving that has carried through all of our business and manufacturing activities." - Dave Roy, Quality Assurance Manager/ Black Belt