FDMC Seeking a Custom Forge Shop Interested in Implementing JobshopLean

About the Forging Defense Manufacturing Consortium (FDMC)

The Forging Defense Manufacturing Consortium (FDMC) is a collaborative, strategic relationship between FIA and Advanced Technology International (ATI). The program seeks to demonstrate readiness improvements of defense-related suppliers by developing and applying innovative methods of designing and manufacturing weapons systems spare parts and components through advanced forging technologies.


Background for this JobshopLean Project

Lean is based on the Toyota Production System. Lean, as implemented by a high-volume producer of automobiles, is not a very good fit for a custom forge shop that has to produce 100’s of different forgings during any given year on a Make-To-Order basis. “ToyotaLean” simply does not work very well in high-mix low-volume manufacturing facilities, especially job shops.  


JobshopLean is a technology-aided and data analytics-driven approach to implement Lean in high-mix low-volume manufacturing facilities. ATI has funded a cost-shared project to implement JobshopLean in a custom forge shop that seeks to improve their quality, productivity, technology, and business practices. During this JobshopLean project, we will:


(1) Assess the current operations of the custom forge shop


(2) Use the PFAST software to do extensive analysis of the material flow in the shop for a large sample of their product mix


(3) Use the results of the material flow analysis to identify opportunities to reduce order flow time, to reduce WIP (work in process) and to eliminate recurring waste in their day-to-day operations. Order flow times can be significantly reduced by: (i) implementing a forging cell; (ii) Training a water spider who is the sole person in charge of all order flow logistics; (iii) Reducing setup times on a bottleneck work center (say heat treatment); (iv) Implementing an electronic schedule board that displays accurate order status and physical location of any order in the shop; (v) Reducing “push scheduling” by the ERP system and releasing orders to the shop based on realistic machine and labor capacity levels; (vi) Etc.


(4) Teach and train the team at the custom forge shop in the methods and tools of JobshopLean


(5) Actively support the custom forge shop’s efforts to implement some of the improvement ideas until the end of the project’s period of performance


Shop Performance Metrics that will Drive this Project

(1) Reduce average stock-to-dock time to complete an order

(2) Reduce the number of orders in WIP (work in progress)

(3) Reduce costs of day-to-day operations by eliminating waste


Would you Like to Receive Further Information on this Project?

The ideal partner for this project would be any custom forge shop that has their own in-house CI Champion or Lean Six Sigma Black Belt or similar position. He/she would be receiving about 20-25 days of full-time consulting services from this project.


To receive (1) the entire proposal and (2) the avenues for providing cost share for this project, please send an email to [email protected]. If you would like to discuss details over the phone, please call Dr. Shahrukh Irani at 832-475-4447.


In particular, a project partner must be willing to extract the relevant data from their ERP system for analysis using PFAST. The PFAST outputs will be used to identify product families, detect anomalies in the shop’s material flow, implement one or more manufacturing cells in the facility, etc.


Hyperlinks to Additional Information on JobshopLean