Case Study 4: Relocation, relocation, relocation

Taking part in a supply chain programme presented an opportunity for applying process improvements to a production area which manufactures Power Zone Cabinet Systems.

The improvement objectives were to reorganise the manufacturing areas so as to reduce travel time, improve process event connectivity, establish pull systems of replenishment by creating a dedicated cell for manufacturing and co-locating inspection and test activities.

All items for an assembly were picked, bagged, identified and issued to the manufacturing hall —with a minimum of two cabinets being in build at any one time.

The Power Zone Cabinet Systems were assembled in various areas of the manufacturing hall.

This approach caused lots of movement within the process and searching for tools through not having a dedicated area for assembly.


The team evaluated the existing process and identified the value adding and waste elements using flowcharts, string diagrams and process activity charting techniques.

This analysis provided the necessary information to develop a revised floor layout which would minimise the people and material movement within the process, enable co-location of personnel, improve process connectivity and support the introduction of single piece flow manufacture within the section.

Without significantly interrupting manufacture the team dismantled and co-located the inspection and test areas, the Power Zone Cabinet Systems activities, relocated tooling and improved access using shadow boards and implemented visual control.

The engineering team rationalised the drawing sets to standardise cable usage and refined item numbering across the suite of drawings.

In addition, a dedicated cable cutting process was establish adjacent to the cable storage area a team area created to support all manufacturing activities and a significant amount of floor space cleared providing room for additional work / contracts.

Back to case studies


The process now operates within a dedicated area with appropriate tools and consumable materials located on each workstation.

A model programme plan has been created and published within the team area showing the standard build stages thereby allowing daily tracking of progress.

Co-locating inspection and test personnel allows collaboration on these activities reducing through put times.

The reduction in kit picking on Power Zone Cabinet Systems has allowed stores personnel to undertake cable cutting in the newly created area on all contracts thereby maximising the use of cable assembly skills within the manufacturing areas.

Customer Profile

Specialist sub-con manufacture

Main focus of activity
Process Improvement

Reduction in leadtime from 15 days to 7 days (52%)
Reduction in inventory from 2 systems to 1 (50%)
Reduction in Operator movement from 3129m to 377m (88%)
Reduction in set-up time from 40hrs to 6hrs (85%)




Contact us | Terms and Conditions | (c) Total Business Innovation Ltd 2004
Total Business Innovation Ltd. 8 Allington Farm Cottages, Allington Lane, Fair Oak, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 7DE Tel: 023 8060 2561