Michell Bearings – White Metal Casting and Machining.
For over 100 years Michell Bearings have been designing and manufacturing self-contained white metal and PTFE faced hydrodynamic bearings. Including large bush, journal and thrust bearings the range of products is extensive as is the application to commercial and military customers.
The Business Challenge
Michell had already embarked on their process improvement journey, and were keen to develop knowledge of the key process dependencies and controls to demystify the ‘art of casting’ and consequently bring a significant reduction in the cost of manufacturing and improve on-time delivery.
Developing an in-house Lean Six-Sigma capability was a parallel requirement to enable them to coach continuous improvement with internal resource in the future.
How We Helped
Led improvement programme whilst transferring skills to a core population
Resolved major root causes of rework through detailed statistical testing
Implemented controls to stabilise critical processes and reduce ‘surprises’
Captured and codified key knowledge to protect the business and improve flexibility
Newly acquired knowledge better defined facility specification for future investment
Reduced rework costs by 40% and increased first time pass rate of bearings
Dramatically increased process knowledge to protect core capability for long-term
Developed Black Belt and Green Belt accredited internal specialists
Reduced cost by eliminating the need to over-design in allowing for casting variation
The Customer’s View
“It wasn’t an easy journey getting to this point, but the results proved that just as important to meeting the financial goals, is developing critical process knowledge for long-term benefit”.
J Horton – Project Champion