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Y-12 Respirator Flow Cycle Time Reduction Project

Description: In mid-July 2000, a Cycle Time Reduction (CTR) project was initiated by senior management to improve the flow and overall efficiency of the respirator distribution process at Y-12. A cross-functional team was formed to evaluate the current process and to propose necessary changes for improvement. Specifically, the team was challenged to make improvements that would eliminate production work stoppages due to the unavailability of respirators in Y-12 Stores. Prior to the team initiation, plant back orders for a specific model respirator were averaging above 600 and have been as high as 750+. The Cycle Time Reduction team segmented the respirator flow into detailed steps, with the focus and emphasis primarily being on the movement of dirty respirators out of work areas, transportation to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Laundry, and return back to Y-12 Stores inventory. The team selected a popular model respirator, size large, to track improvements. Despite a 30 percent increase in respirator usage for the same period of time in the previous year, the team has reduced the back orders by 89% with a steady trend downward. Summary of accomplishments: A 47 percent reduction in the average cycle time for dirty respirators to be laundered and stocked for reuse at the Y-12 Complex; A 73 percent reduction in the average cycle time for dirty respirators to be laundered and stocked for reuse specifically for major users: Enriched Uranium Operations (EUO) and Facilities Maintenance Organization (FMO); Development of a performance measure for tracking back orders; An 89 percent reduction in the number of laundered respirators on back order; Implementation of a tracking method to account for respirator loss; Achievement of an annual cost savings/avoidance of $800K with a one-time cost of $20K; Implementation of a routine pick-up schedule for EUO (major user of respirators); Elimination of activities no ...
Date: December 1, 2000
Creator: Hawk, C.T. & Rogers, P.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department