Save Time on Changeovers with Visual Gauge Marking
The Benefits of Gauge Marking
While working on a quick changeover project documenting the current state I noticed that the operator, Guizar was using valuable time trying to get an air cylinder to raise a platform into position. Unfortunately, out of the original 90 minute changeover on the press, this took up about 20 minutes of the process. Wondering why this looked so hard and took an inordinate amount of time I walked through the process with Guizar. I asked him how he felt about the platform bed not raising into position the first time. He told me it was frustrating, and made for a long day. Not good.
A simple, low cost solution for improved performance
Next, I had Guizar show me step-by-step what he was supposed to do to lower and raise the bed. I asked him why he struggled so much with the air cylinder the first time. As he walked me through the process, it became quite obvious – there wasn’t enough air pressure to raise the platform. So I asked him how he figured this out. He showed me the pressure gauge for the air cylinder. Right away I noticed a problem – the gauge was facing the wrong way; the operator couldn’t see it. That was solved easily enough, we turned the gauge to conveniently face the operator. I then asked him how he knew what the correct pressure was supposed to be. Guizar looked at me puzzled and said “I wasn’t sure, so I kept trying until I got it to work.”
There was another simple solution for that – gauge marking – visually mark the gauge with the correct pressure. We got some Gauge Range and marked the gauge face with the correct pressure range in green to indicate that “green is good – green is go”. These two simple steps reduced 20 minutes of waste! Overall, the team was able to reduce the changeover by an hour. Not bad for their first try.
Guizar’s supervisor, Eric was so impressed that he had all the gauges in the fabrication shop fitted with Gauge Range. I visited the shop a month later and asked Eric how things were going. He said that marking the gauges with the correct pressure solved a lot of problems for him and the crew including reducing the changeover times, improving quality, and reducing training time. Simple, low cost solutions are oftentimes the best!