LEAN SIX SIGMA WORLD CONFERENCE
Lean and AI Working Hand in Hand in Manufacturing
Presenter: Patrick Durcinka, Director of Continuous Improvement, Kessington Aerospace, Elkhart, IN, USA
Keywords:Lean, Artificial Intelligence, Manufacturing
Lean and AI Working Hand-In Hand in Manufacturing (Highlights of the symbiotic relationship between Lean and AI) At Kessington Aerospace, Lean manufacturing has paved the way for AI’s inroad into the manufacturing arena. Operating a discrete manufacturing facility that produces high precision complex components for the Aerospace industry, Kessington has incorporated the capabilities of AI technology to enhance its highly complex scheduling process. Hundreds of different components, order quantities from one piece to several hundred, due dates varying across the map and over eighty different CNC machines, make scheduling to a 97% plus on time delivery performance a virtual nightmare. Relying on AI’s ability to manipulate and learn from vast amounts of data, Kessington has made use of an AI Pull System that schedules jobs through the jungle of machinery enabling on time delivery to the customers’ expectations. The key to AI’s success in this endeavor has been the implementation of Lean practices without which would have made the effort less than successful. Critical to the success of the AI Pull System, and meeting the gamut of delivery requirements is the elimination of waste in every aspect of the operation. While AI analyses’ vast amounts of data and delivers solutions in seconds, it cannot remove the vast amounts of waste that literally permeates through every process within an organization. From the quoting and ordering process to the machining, maintenance and delivery process, wasted time threatens the competitive advantage of every company. Lean is the answer and is what has made the AI system so valuable. Basic Lean methodologies like TPM, setup reduction, 5S, Visual management and others have supported and enhanced the benefits of AI. Essential to the utilization of AI’s capabilities was the input of relevant data, and in Kessington’s case, a thorough understanding of all elements of a setup have allowed the AI system to further reduce setup time beyond the traditional SMED process. The content of this presentation is to exhibit how basic Lean improvements have worked hand-in-hand with AI to provide Kessington with an effective scheduling process that eliminates non-productive meetings, frequent schedule changes, huge WIP inventories and ineffective wasteful expediting.