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.

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