On Friday March 6th MS Aerospace and Double “J” Packing completed a Kaizen event to eliminate waste in the packing of government jobs. As you may be aware Double “J” packing in Sun Valley packs all of the parts we produce for the government. We make the parts, send them to Double “J” and they pack them per each individual contract.

We formed an improvement team from MSA along with three employees from Double “J”. The team met at their facility and “walked the process” together. The team focused on one of the seven types of waste, the waste of extra processing. This term refers to extra operations, reprocessing, handling or storage.

Sure enough the team identified three examples of waste in the current state. We currently send parts in an MSA box that they cannot use and end up throwing away (not very green in addition to wasteful). Secondly, we spend considerable time individually packing parts in plastic bags then heat-sealing the bags, only to have Double “J” open the bags so they can be repackaged per the contract requirement. The third wasteful activity involved MSA putting two parts in one sleeve, and Double “J” having to cut the sleeve in half to end up with one part per sleeve. Three classic examples of extra processing.

The team agreed to fixes that will eliminate these wastes and while the dollar savings are not gigantic, they will add up over time. Most importantly this Kaizen reinforces that any opportunity to eliminate waste helps to foster the culture of continuous improvement. This is our true goal.

There were two key lessons for the MSA team in this event. First, was the value of walking the process together. Second, was the importance of always being on the lookout for the seven types of waste.