6 examples of how continuous improvement is in the company culture at the Rose Corp.

Posted by Tom McDevitt on Apr 6, 2016 8:00:00 AM



Here are some recent examples of continuous improvement projects accomplished by co-workers at the Rose Corporation in an effort to make us more competitive, serve customers better, and make the Rose a better place to work:

1)  ASSEMBLY:  There continues to be a lot going on in Assembly!  In addition to bringing on two new Assemblers in August, the whole area is undergoing some big changes in an effort to become more organized and efficient and better able to meet important ship dates for our customers.  Many of these changes are improving safety, which is always a good thing. 

While John Bonanno is responsible for facilitating all of the Initiative Teams, Alan Noll is the Team Leader for the Assembly Department.  Participating on the team are John Gauger, Mitch Gould and Emilio Guilbe. 

One of the first problems the team tackled had todo with the ordering and picking of bolts for the standard valves we built.  It was taking too long and tying up too much time from a skilled person.  Alan and his team started to look into managed inventory whereby our bolt vendor would come in and keep our bolts stocked.  From there, the decision was made to have our vendor do the pre-kitting of all hardware necessary for each of the three sizes of our regularly built valves. Our vendor now pulls all the bolts we need per valve at a cost of $25 per kit.  It is estimated, however, that it saves us about two hours per valve.  This means a lot when we are on a deadline!  We tested this by ordering six kits for each size valve. We’ve used two so far and they worked out really well.  Now the challenge is to keep the right amount in inventory without tying up too much cash.  We are still looking at managed inventory but 80% of the problem is solved with this kitting process. 


Another small but significant change was made to the installation of the unistrut (channel to which electrical wiring is attached) onto oxidizer skids.  It used to get done in Assembly.  The team would have to grind off the paint, weld on the unistrut and then paint it again, and then wait for the paint to dry.  Now the fab shop welds the unistrut on and it gets paint blasted and painted with the rest of the skid before it hits Assembly.  It is estimated that this process improvement will save another two hours per skid.  Again, the more we can do for Assembly prior to the work getting there, the faster they can meet customer deadlines.

Another “waste” we’re seeing in Assembly was guys waiting to borrow tools to do their job.  Several of the team members developed lists of basic tools and tools needed for certain phases of Assembly work.  The tools were purchased and designated to specific users who are being held accountable for the care and upkeep of the tools. 

We replaced a lot of electric tools with battery tools to reduce trip hazards caused by all the electrical wires.  We also bought some specific tools in the valve assembly area so assemblers would have what they need, where they need it, to get the work done.  To hold and protect the new resources, we purchased some tool stations for the valve area and for the skid area and put up shadow boards to store and track the tools, to get rid of wasted time looking for them. 

John Bonanno reported that, “a lot of smaller projects are being done to help organize from adding some trash cans for general cleanup to repainting floor lines for better visibility.  We also relocated the valve assembly area to the King Bay where the machine shop used as staging area.  This gives co-workers ample room to work.” 

In addition, Mitch Gould generated (24) standard drawings of condensation traps for instrument tubing on skids that was usually performed with “tribal knowledge.”  Bob Cutlip is also writing the “Valve Fitting” procedure with associated photos and instructions.  Because of this work, we can train better and not be dependent on one person to do the job correctly.

2)  VALVES: 

Rich Randall and John Gauger oversaw this CI.  The idea was to complete machining in repeat valves without tying up some of our most popular machines so they could generate revenue on outside work. The process now involves some drill fixturing and the addition of burning some holes during fabrication.    Several steps were eliminated and the work in the machining of valves and it is now done on the King and not the Ingersoll or G&L’s.  Altogether, this new process cut the time machining each valve by about two hours; a 20% savings. 

3)  BLAST & PAINT:  Bob Skorupsky is the Team Leader for this CI Initiative.  His team includes Hector Guilbe, Terry Latchford and Pete Vucelich.  The first improvement this team tackled was Hector Guilbe’s idea to build a fixture to blast and paint routine valves.  What we had been doing was set up each valve on horses to blast and then move them with a fork lift to be painted and they would have to be set up on horses again; a lot of unnecessary handling.  Hector suggested having a fixture made that could accommodate any of the three sizes whereby the valves could be arranged on it and then moved from blast to paint without having to load and unload them each time.   This saves time and improves safety.  Bob Cutlip designed the fixture and the fab fabricated it.  They are now complete and being used.  

We will look at doing the same kind of thing for the rotors. 

Other improvement planned include the purchasing a pivoting drum handler for collecting and dumping blast dust; this would save time and effort and increase efficiency.  Another idea is to start using bolts, threaded rods, plastic plugs, etc to keep paint out of holes in regens and valves; this would mean Assembly would not have to do it and again, helping us meet our delivery dates. 

4)  WELDING: The Team Leader on this project is Scott Faust working very closely with Pete Vucelich.  We have been testing out new weld wire for some time.  Weld time appears to be about 10% better using metal core vs. fluxcore and most of that is attributed to less cleanup.

As a result, we are pricing two more Pulse Arc welders and plan to retrofit four other welders with dual wire feeders to make the transition between wires quicker on jobs requiring the use of both wires.  There is more to come!

5)  MACHINING:  This initiative is in the beginning stages as John Gouger, the Team Leader, has been very involved with the Valve and Assembly CI’s, also.  John reports that the first steps will have to do with cleaning and organizing of the work areas in general.  He has some ideas for fixturing that will help with efficiency, also. 

6)  FAB FLOOR CAPACITY: Scott Faust is the Team Leader for this project.  His team includes Bob Cutlip, Terry Latchford and Chad Cavanaugh.   The goal of this initiative is to determine the best potential way to use the facility to maximize our business.  That could be either moving work stations or equipment/machines or a combination of both.  You can read about the solution they came up with here.

Many thanks to all Teams and those who are helping to make the initiatives happen! 

The Rose Corporation is a Pennsylvania-based, WBENC-certified small business specializing in the manufacture of custom industrial fabrication, large-scale precision weldments, power generation equipment (including repairs), and more. The Rose Corporation’s most unique strength is our experience with delivery of specialized design expertise, along with an ability to help customers optimize manufacturability, reduce costs, and improve overall product quality.

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