Proof-of-concept tests demonstrated that hands-free trimming is, indeed, a viable option for Cardinal LG. In fact, according to Gehring, recommended automation makes the company’s trimming process easier, reduces variation, and increases both safety and speed. “We saw a way to remove a lot of non-value-added steps,” Gehring recalls, “which yields significant benefits for Cardinal LG’s people.” To identify potential sources for automated trimming technology, Cardinal LG production managers and UW-Stout MOC staff are currently visiting vendors throughout the country to determine the most capable concepts and companies. The project is scheduled to “go live” in late summer 2019.
By implementing Lean concepts, Cardinal LG has boosted productivity, improved the work routine of its employees, and added 115 positions at the Amery facility. With the introduction of trim-free capability, the company anticipates impressive impacts based on initial tests that already show:
• 35% reduction in product defects.
• 20% faster run rate in lamination dept.
• Increased throughput with operators working at a slower, more deliberate pace.
• Significant reduction in workplace injuries by decreasing repetitive motion.