Cooper’s Clarksdale team sought to pilot the quick changeover of molds as an opportunity to improve processes at the facility. Mississippi Polymer Institute (MPI) had previously been involved in an MEP E3 (Economy, Energy, and Environment) event in Clarksdale where MPI mapped out the value stream for the facility’s products and performed a lean assessment for the facility. From this work, Fred Doster, who is the Manager of Cooper’s Clarksdale operations, believed quick changeover implementation would improve processing time, and ultimately, help improve the company’s bottom line.
Cooper relied upon MPI to provide certified LEAN manufacturing training. Ty Posey, MPI’s Technical Service and Workforce Development Leader, lead a quick changeover implementation event at the Clarksdale facility.
MPI implemented the quick changeover training course with a team of eight employees at the plant. Changeover time was reduced more than 50% from previous rates for the bladder molding area. This had a significant impact on Clarksdale’s machine production rate, as the facility typically changes molds about five times per week. Additional action items were identified that would help Cooper continue to reduce changeover time for the bladder molding area, and ultimately improve overall production processes.
“We found Ty to be very helpful in the process. He offered many ideas that can only come from someone with a depth of practical experience. This work greatly reduced downtime and allowed Cooper to streamline the inspection and packing process as well. The overall project experience was well organized and presented in a manner that was easy for all participants to understand.” Fred Doster, Business Unit Manager.