Kihomac is a veteran-owned company based in Layton, Utah, that delivers complex parts and assemblies to the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Community. An AS9100C-certified company, Kihomac works with the United States Air Force and offers broad capabilities in fabricating sheet metal and aluminum honeycomb parts, composite bonded honeycomb or laminate fiberglass, and carbon and Kevlar parts. Kihomac was founded in 2003 and continues to provide rapid design and delivery capabilities spanning small production quantities and supporting unique fleets, as well as larger runs with several complex assemblies per week.
As part of their ongoing Continuous Process Improvement (CPI), Kihomac identified the receiving line in the Center for Advanced Manufacturing as the next opportunity for streamlining. The line was a hub of activity in their new 130,000 square foot facility, and company leaders knew from previous experience that improving incoming receiving processes would have immediate and significant impact on product throughput. The Vice President of Kihomac’s aerospace engineering group, Matt Majewski, contacted the University of Utah Manufacturing Extension Partnership (UUMEP), a NIST MEP affiliate, for assistance.
MEP CENTER’s ROLE:
UUMEP Center staff engineer Nick Wilkes and center director Theresa Drulard worked with Kihomac staff to document the receiving department’s current state and identify improvements. Using a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) exercise, UUMEP helped Kihomac decrease the number of steps in the process from 14 to 10, improving cycle time and generating cost savings. The project also minimized opportunities for error and improved the availability of data on the line, decreasing the required number of data “pushes” significantly.
“With the help of the UUMEP Center, future Value Stream Mapping initiatives are being planned,” Majewski said. “We are continuing to increase our capabilities to utilize internal resources to facilitate these events as our managers and CPI teams gain experience and see their efforts bear fruit.”
- Generated annual cost savings of $18,200
- Eliminated 4 process steps on the receiving line
- Improved receiving cycle time by 7 minutes
- Reduced opportunity for manual errors by 79%
- Improved availability of data and reduced data “pushes” from 12 to 2