TOC and 5S at Work at the Tap & Plug Operation


Throughput was at 40% of rate. The Goal is to produce to rate.


CAUSE(S): Needed to improve the work cell for this operation

CURE(S): Use 5S: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain

*Moved All the Fixtures from the Tool Room to the Tap & Plug Area – Reduced set-up time, Reduced Downtime for Set-Up, Freed up space in the Tool Room

*Added new air cylinders to all fixture – There was only one air Cylinder for all the fixtures, This enabled faster set-up time and reduced down time

*Labeled all fixtures, tools and gages – Identified a place for each fixture on the table, Saved Set-up Time and reduced Down Time

*Moved plug supply box to the top of the Torque Motor – Reduced amount of reach for operator, Reduced total cycle time

*Installed coolant shield – Reduced amount of coolant on floor, Reduced amount of coolant on lunchroom window, Reduced clean-up time

*Installed New Torque Converter – Reduce “float” and made it easier to install plug, Reduced operator fatigue, Reduced total cycle time

*Added Frame and Light – Improve working conditions, Reduced set-up time, Improved quality checks

*Added a Box Tilter – Reduce time moving parts from large boxes to small totes, Reduced the number of totes required, Reduced downtime, Improved total throughput

*Added Operator Work Table – Reduced set-up time, Increased overall work space,

*Rearranged Area to be more Ergonomical and Efficient

*Turned Tap & Plug around to enable loading from right to left from tilter

*Converted tapping machine switches to one button to reduce cycle time

*Rearranged power cords and air hoses to prevent tripping and improve appearance

*Located new table in vibratory pit to allow for more space for operator

*Moved conveyor to vibratory closer to operator, reduced operator movement

*Added Warning Signs – To prevent accidents from people tripping on electric cords and hoses

*Added Conveyor to box tilter – Reduced operator time to change out material boxes, Increase operator efficiency

*Added a Incoming Product Conveyor – Reduce time waiting for parts, Reduced downtime, Increase overall throughput by “Kan Ban” Material handling. If there is not a box on the conveyor the material handler knows to bring a new box of parts


All operators trained on the new work cell


Improvements made did require spending some money (but not major dollars). Everyone is very satisfied with the results. We are now making rate on this operation (more T) and the operators are very pleased.


The whole team felt great about their success and were recognized. Now on to the next major constraint operation.