- July 7, 2015
- Posted by: Cheryl Rybka
- Category: Productivity
“Pursuit of Perfection”
For more than 30 years, RMAX has been creating insulation solutions based on the latest building science. Their full line of high-quality, *polyiso-based roof, wall and specialty insulation products for commercial, industrial and residential applications deliver maximum R-values with minimum environmental impact, and efficiency in installation, cost and design. As a specialty market leader their products are used in containers, cold storage, concrete sandwiches and prefab walls. Rmax is dedicated to staying at the forefront in manufacturing tested, engineered solutions that serve architects, builders, owners and occupants alike. With plants in Dallas, South Carolina and Nevada, Rmax polyiso insulation products may also assist in the process of qualifying for LEED certification manufacturing through their environmentally sound chemistry processes.
In 2013 RMAX decided to improve performance of production and office operations by implementing Lean practices, Systematic Problem Solving, and Improvement Management for sustainable results.
Rmax was awarded a grant by the Texas Workforce Commission to receive training and special project implementation through the Bill J. Priest Institute, part of the Dallas Community College District. The company invested 60% in the project as well. Rmax contacted TMAC to provide guidance for the Lean Transformation. Plant Manager George Bernard was familiar with the Center from a previous employer’s successful project.
Environmentally, Rmax has to comply with stringent industry regulations. Waste includes dust byproducts which have to be separated by aluminum and fiberglass.
The Dallas facility also hosts the corporation’s Technology R&D Department which has a goal of introducing two new products annually. Rmax and the TMAC team spent considerable time identifying improvement opportunities. Focus areas included housekeeping, bottlenecks and waste reduction/elimination. The company also leveraged TMAC’s robust Lean Six Sigma program to graduate 3 Lean Six Sigma Green Belts and 2 Lean Six Sigma Black Belts. Personnel from all levels of from the company have benefitted.
Rmax’s LSS staff are spending more time on quality issues; conducting more formal statistical analyses.
Customer support and Services are coordinated with 2 Black Belts. A current LSS project is to eliminate billing errors and provide correct product to customers out of inventory. A truckload of foam may cost anywhere from $13K to $15K. There is no margin for rework; it is imperative to make the order 100 percent to the customer’s specs. Their goal is to go for a year with no defects.
Departments impacted include accounting, technical, corporate, top management, hourly production, shipping and quality functions.
Rmax is dedicated to reducing and eliminating a wide variety of waste created by:
Downtime, Overproduction, Waiting, Not Utilizing Employees, Transportation, Inventory
Motion, Excess Processing
The company is taking advantage of measurement systems in a more detailed manner then previously used; the use of visual boards has increased throughout many departments. Staff has developed a job instruction checklist for the saw-house and a future state value stream map is under development for the order entry process.
Through the Lean Transformation implementation, quality at the source inspections have increased by looking at inconsistencies, processes and root cause analyses. Process owners are now able to stop the line before a problem becomes systemic. Another issue the project is addressing is the cost incurred in packaging which includes a review of weight per pound for plastic wrap and light weight adhesive alternatives. Rmax prepares up to 300 bundles of product per day.
The Training Within Industry Job Instruction class was a big hit as was Job Safety analysis. RMAX personnel really liked a classroom approach for learning new tools and techniques to take back to the shop floor. They were also assigned to cross functional work teams where every level was included. A real plus for the company is the time saved, freed up human capital for more value added activities. In addition cultural issues have been brought to the forefront.
Operations Director, Matt Woolsey has seen huge improvements and wants to roll out to the sister plants. By standardizing the processes of getting better and documenting best practices at the Dallas plant Rmax will have a template for future success.
Goals for the company include:
- 15% sales increase
- 10% earnings growth
- Develop 2 new products/solutions per year
- 5% decrease in operating expenses
- Provide full employee benefits plan
- Develop better inspection processes for suppliers
- Refine on-boarding processes to keep sustain low turnover
HOSHIN planning is in place particularly as they look at new product development; this industry sector has constant demand for new products. Some innovative engineering management systems are in place with this team. Rmax used to just sell products; now they proudly sell solutions!
- $90K Workforce Improvement Investment
- 2,500 Hours Invested
- Raw materials to finished product reduced from 35 days to 15 days
- Invigorated Loyal, Proud, & Safe Workforce
- Setup reduced by 15 days including reduction of non-value added steps