Lean And Teams: More Than Blips Productivity rises as overhead and cycle times fall for plant that nearly fell off the radar. ByJohn S. McClenahen Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors, Syracuse, N.Y. At a Glance
Web-Exclusive Best PracticesByJohn McClenahen Benchmarking contact: Robert Fiorentini, director of manufacturing operations,
[email protected], 315/456-6802
Workcell Team Boards In the beginning, work-cell display boards were a way to communicate basic production information to work-cell team members at Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2), Syracuse. Data like throughput. Like a skills chart showing who's qualified to do which jobs in the facility's cross-functional environment. Like identifying what's built in a cell and indicating the next step in system assembly. "It's been key for people to understand the flow so that they can move material on to the next stage," explains Don Hoffmann, a value stream leader for ground-based radar at MS2-Syracuse. "They know where the pull is coming from." But the 4-foot by 8-foot workcell team boards no longer serve as centers of information only for employees. They also serve, as part of a deliberate "visual factory" design, to communicate basic data to customers and other MS2-Syracuse visitors. To the extent possible, particularly within a value stream, metrics are consistently placed on workcell team boards. "If it's a quality metric or a defect metric, it's in the same place on the board," notes Hoffmann.
Minority Mentoring Since the 1990s, Lockheed Martine Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2), Syracuse, has participated in the INROADS program to help talented minority students make the transition from high school through college and into the workplace. This past summer 17 interns took part, 15 of them working in MS2-Syracuse's radar business and two in its undersea sensor business. "One of the big opportunities it presents to us is to be able to identify some very talented individuals who are interested in engineering or other kinds of work that we may have," says Robert D. Tucker, vice president for human resources at MS2-Syracuse. "It [is] an opportunity for us not only to help with some kids who are very motivated, but [it] also helps us in that it provides a source of talent for the future." MS2-Syracuse has hired four of its former interns during the past couple of years and expects to make offers of full-time jobs to all four college seniors currently in its program. MS2-Syracuse continues to regard its commitment to INROADS as a long-term investment. "Certainly every year has its own drivers and its own needs, [but] we look at this as a program that's going to be providing us talent four years [or] five years down the road and we can't look at it from the perspective of what our immediate business situation might be," Tucker says. Based in St. Louis, INROADS Inc. is an international organization with more than 60 offices serving about 5,000 interns in more than 900 companies.
- Plant: 1.6 million square feet (manufacturing: 328,124 square feet)
- Start-up: 1948