DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

LEAN: How to Achieve Success Using 6S

Posted by Brooke Barone on Jan 8, 2013 4:45:00 PM

Every manufacturer wants their product to be at the world-class level, but the question is “Can you compete at that level?”

Lean Manufacturing has been around for some time now, and has become an essential tool, especially for production facilities. Introducing Lean Manufacturing can significantly reduce waste and enhance quality and delivery.

So how can you bring the best value to your customers?

From our experience, the 6S System has been the foundation for all other Lean activities. Once the problems have been identified and a solution has been formulated, then the next step is to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in order to sustain an organized and functional area.

*An operation must develop an organized work place with standard operating procedures in order to feed its continuous improvement culture. 

6s model

The 6S System:

1.)    Safety - Develop and implement JSAs for all of the processes involved in operation

2.)    Sort - Keep what is needed and systematically  remove what is not

3.)    Set to order – a place for everything and everything kept in its place when not in use

4.)    Shine -  clean the equipment or area to keep in “new” condition, and inspect the equipment for repairs during the process

5.)    Standardize- Develop processes that maintain the first 4 S 

6.)    Sustain – Develop processes that motivates employees to maintain the procedures.  Also involves creating audits, SOPs and other tools to check for progress and maintenance of the standards.

Implementing the 6S system can be difficult because many companies are set in their ways, but if you keep up with the process, over time the culture will progressively evolve.

Follow these seven steps to discover the problem areas and solutions. 

First, identify the areas that need attention and improvement and then outline the concerns and the solutions.

Second, form a diverse core team. You’ll want someone who is familiar with the machines, someone from outside who can look on with fresh eyes and someone who can facilitate and make decisions.

Third, choose a strategic location. If this is the first time, choose a location with obvious problems that you know you can have success with.

Fourth, identify the problem and describe it in a problem statement.

Fifth, conduct an audit or scan of the selected area.

Sixth, photograph or video major problem areas.

Seventh, assign action to team members.

Once the area is organized and running efficiently, this is where developing an SOP comes into play, as well as work instructions. Work instructions are typically one page and are a supplement document to SOPs. They explain several steps such as how to start up the machine, operate it properly and what to do if there are problems.

The benefit of developing an SOP is that, regardless who the operator is, the product is still being produced the same way each time. This not only finds the areas that are insufficient, but adds value and quality to the final product.

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Tags: lean manufacturing, quality, Lean culture, 6S System, reduce waste, Standard Operating Procedures, SOP, Lean, 6S

Distinguishing the DIS-TRAN Difference

Posted by Brooke Barone on Sep 14, 2012 12:25:00 PM

Aerial view of Crest Industries, LLC including DIS-TRAN Steel, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, BETA. It’s funny how things change. When we’re young and impressionable, we want to blend right in with the rest of our camouflaged peers. But once we survive high school and stretch our arms out, we realize blending in is not all that it’s cracked up to be. We want to be different.

Being different is the quality of not being the same as another, it’s being distinct. So, maybe DIS-TRAN Steel is not the largest company per say, but we pride ourselves on doing the very best at what we do, distinguishing the DIS-TRAN Difference…Experience.

Experience is key in building trustworthy, reliable relationships. We all can agree that if we go out to eat and the server is not attentive, rude or gets the order wrong, we’re unlikely to return again or recommend the restaurant to a friend.

The distinction between DIS-TRAN Steel and others is: quality, high-performance products, proposals and customer service designed for your needs; responsiveness, prompt attention to all of your project needs, storm restoration, single point of contact and critical lead times; flexibility, to meet your needs with timely production schedules, change in structure or tight lead times and creativity, professional assistance, solution finding and more productive providers for your individual projects.

In the business for over 45 years, DIS-TRAN Steel has worked closely with an array of companies around the country in the utility industry, honing our skills to create a memorable experience that keeps our customers confident to hire us again and again.

So what all does this mean for you?

On Time, On Budget, Solid Integrity, Superior Quality

  • ON TIME Being timely, no matter what the industry, is vital. And living in the fast-paced world that we do today, we want instant gratification. The capacity in our shop allows us to efficiently fabricate large projects and also expedite schedules on small and medium size projects when lead times are critical. Expedited delivery dates are available on those projects where in-service date is more important than cost. DIS-TRAN has provided steel projects where the delivery window seemed impossible to make, but with hard-working and dedicated employees, we are able to produce lead times to seemingly impossible delivery dates.
  • ON BUDGET If you have ever done business with DIS-TRAN, then you know we aren’t always the lowest bidder. But you also know that the outstanding quality of our products makes every penny well worth it. Think about when you’re purchasing something that you know you’ll only wear a few times out of the year. You’re not likely to spend the extra dollars to ensure that is it sustainable and durable. But when you’re looking for something you can wear all-year-round, you don’t mind spending more because you know it’s an investment. Ah, the magic word.
  • SOLID INTEGRITY Now you know we would be lying if we said we never make mistakes, but the difference is that we take immediate and aggressive actions to find a solution, no questions asked. Having integrity allows us not to be too proud to admit when we mess up. And honesty builds trust, allowing relationships to grow. When DIS-TRAN designs your project, you can count on it being to the exact specifications you have requested, with no alterations that aren’t approved by the customer. DIS-TRAN promises date specific schedules and delivers no less. When we say it will be there, you can count on us to have your steel as promised.
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY Every project stamped with DIS-TRAN’s approval is at or above industry standards. We don’t just build things to build things; we take pride in every project we complete. Getting it right the first time is our policy, and to ensure that, we have internal quality insurance inspectors who examine the project at each different stage, all the way until the finished product. This added value is just one of the reasons our customers return. When they rely on DIS-TRAN to execute a project, they know that the experience and quality can’t be beat.

Every company vouches their number one priority is customer service, but as DIS-TRAN Steel’s President, Donnie Roberts, says, “We walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”

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Tags: utility industry, DIS-TRAN Steel, storm restoration, quality, flexibility, relationships

DIS-TRAN Steel's Quick Response for Storm Restoration

Posted by Brooke Barone on Sep 10, 2012 10:00:00 AM

Hub photoWhen August graces us with her presence, we cringe,and I’m not just referring to the scorching heat waves, but a particular season that Louisianans have come to know all too well, Hurricane Season.

Hurricane Katrina left a lasting impression that will forever be remembered, and after hearing that another hurricane was headed our way, it brought back the chilling memories.

Thankfully, unlike Katrina, Hurricane Isaac started off as a category one and then dropped to a tropical storm. But even as a tropical storm, winds reached 80 mph, causing fallen trees and downed power lines, as well as flooding.

After Hurricane Isaac lingered over the coast at an agonizing 8 mph, thousands of residents were left in the dark without power. Being an everyday commodity, we kind of forget what life would be like without electricity, until Mother Nature reminds us. I mean, think about all the avid hunters and fisherman across Louisiana with pounds of frozen meat or fish in their freezers, or think about no air conditioning. It’s not like you can open a window and catch a cool breeze around here.

Just as quick as meteorologists discovered Hurricane Isaac and started following this tropical storm, so did DIS-TRAN. We know that when bad weather comes our way, we need to be prepared to stop, drop and roll in case one of our customers needs us for storm restoration.

One of DIS-TRAN’s valued customers, Entergy, who serves majority of the population in New Orleans and surrounding areas, had a big job on their shoulders when Isaac turned its’ path and headed straight for Louisiana. But they were prepared, and DIS-TRAN was ready to back them up every step of the way.

At 1:12 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, just days after Isaac made landfall, Entergy contacted us to push out substation materials ASAP. Despite having a full backlog until the beginning of next year, flexibility to “stop, drop and roll” to help our customers in times of need, allowed DIS-TRAN to manufacture, galvanize and deliver Entergy’s order within 24 hours to their site in Bridge City, La; roughly three and a half hours away.

Although there were obstacles along the way, like Interstate 10 being closed due to flooding and traffic, we understood the severity of the situation and our loyalty to keep our word. It wasn’t easy, but we would do it all over again for any of our customers.

You know the saying, “You can tell who your true friends are in times of need,”? Well, this was our chance to prove that DIS-TRAN can be depended on in times of need.

For more on what to do during a storm event, click here to download a Free Storm Recovery Plan: During Storm Checklist.

FREE During Storm Checklist!

Tags: DIS-TRAN Steel, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, storm restoration, quality, flexibility, storm recovery plan, during storm checklist, Entergy

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