With the implementation of a disciplined LEAN Six-Sigma and “5S” approach to manufacturing, our continuous process improvement efforts have resulted in reduced production waste and non-value added activities.
Ken McEneany Vice President of Manufacturing
Hunter Industries' continuous improvement efforts focus on the “Basics of Manufacturing” in delivering the highest quality products, on customer demand, at a competitive price.
Our commitment to continuous improvement is evident with the investment of in-house Six-Sigma classes and projects certified by California State University, San Marcos. These principles and methodologies guide our Corrective Action and Preventive Action plans and provide a systematic investigation to prevent occurrence and / or recurrence of discrepancies resulting in reduced scrap and product returns. The “5S” approach provides direction to workplace organization. “5S” is not only a system and a philosophy, it is a culture.
Real Time Data = Higher Quality Products
Manufacturing has a focus on cross department collaboration for improved system alignment to reach component and assembly level targets. These projects are a win-win for the environment and bottom line. By reducing defects we will see less resource use through the process, reducing cost and environmental impact.
Paul Gros Vice President of Manufacturing
Manufacturing works to ensure each item leaving Hunter is defect-free and functional. We have a major initiative to achieve component and assembly level improvements using automated real-time data. Hunter’s Process Engineering group focuses on creating and amending molding and quality processes for component level improvements while Hunter’s Production Team develops processes to monitor automation equipment for assembly level improvements. Many group members received Lean Six Sigma Black Belts through our in-house training.
This year Hunter implemented Plantstar software, a communication tool that provides real-time data for machine scheduling and performance tracking. The initial phase has been rolled out to help manage our plastic injection molds schedules and uptime. A multi-departmental group of employees is working on phase 2 of the project to provide real-time alerts to ensure the injection molding process complies with the input parameters and remains in control.
Optical Gaging Products
Hunter’s Quality Department is working to leverage real-time inspection data provided by Optical Gaging Products (OGP), which includes automated metrology comparators that interface with our data collection software to automate inspection and eliminate inspector bias. This reduces the time and error that accompanies manual inspection, which allows for quicker and more reliable decisions. Employees can now focus on larger statistical trends to drive component level improvements. OGP is on a per mold basis and to date, 40% of Hunter molds have parts being qualified by OGP.
The Manufacturing Operations Team measures their efficiency through overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), which is dependent on quality parts, availability of automation machines and machine performance. OEE is used to track our injection molding, automated and manual assembly processes. Eliminating component variability through improvements in molding and quality processes results in higher yields at the assembly level. This year the Production Team assessed the limitations of their data collection system finding information needed too much manual processing without enough granularity to reveal issues. The Production Team is currently evaluating Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) to provide real-time data and dashboards to improve use of OEE data. Establishing station-specific settings will allow the system to monitor and provide automated alerts and trigger diagnosis of issues on any station not operating optimally. This will reduce downtime, scrap and labor while improving the key performance indicator of OEE.Back to Top
Inventory and Scrap
An effective Global Supply Chain has created a strategy in which the procurement of raw materials enables Hunter to balance risk and cost, manage demand and market volatility, and ensures a competitive market advantage.
By utilizing demand-flow concepts and defined installed capacity planning models, Hunter is able to provide flexibility to our manufacturing operations. This reduces our exposure to back-orders, stock-outs, slow-moving and obsolete inventory.
As a result of our disciplined Quality Management System, our ISO certified operations continue to report scrap reduction trends. All production scrap is accounted for, and the recycle team properly dispositions all materials to eliminate landfill waste.Back to Top
Quality Management System
With the implementation of a Phase Gate Process to New Product Development, the Product Reliability function has teamed with the Design, Sustaining, and Quality Engineering disciplines to close the loop in product qualification testing and failure analysis, resulting in reduced defects and product returns.
Ken McEneany Vice President of Manufacturing
Our Quality Management System is based on the utilization of Six–Sigma, LEAN Manufacturing, and “5S” principles and methodologies to improve the capability of our manufacturing processes – resulting in: increased operating efficiencies, reduced manufacturing expenses, reduced in-process and finished goods scrap, and increased customer satisfaction.
With these systems in place, Hunter Industries continues to strive to manufacture the highest quality and most reliable products in the industry.Back to Top