PSL North America Lean Manufacturing
A world leader in spiral pipe production, PSL North America (PSL NA) operates a pipe manufacturing and coating facility on a 156 acre site in Bay St. Louis at Mississippi’s Port Bienville Industrial Park. The facility manufactures, coats, and internally lines Large Diameter API Grade Pipe in diameters ranging from 24 inches to 60 inches.
The human resources manager for PSL, Rhonda Ladner, contacted the MEP.ms Center at The University of Southern Mississippi Lean Enterprise Center at the Mississippi Polymer Institute for assistance in providing lean manufacturing training and kaizen implementation for their Bay St. Louis facility. PSL NA had available downtime in their facility and wanted to take the opportunity to train their employees in lean manufacturing and to implement lean manufacturing principles. Primary issues that the plant were facing were high levels of inventory, limited capacity and long changeover times of eight to 24 hours.
MEP Center's Role
The work of the MEP.ms Center at The University of Southern Mississippi's Mississippi Polymer Institute included the development of a lean training and an implementation schedule for PSL NA. Three Principles of Lean Manufacturing courses and one Visual Workplace 5S System with Kaizen event were delivered to PSL NA between August and October 2010. The goal of this initial phase of training and implementation at PSL NA was to raise awareness of lean manufacturing and lay a foundation for continuous improvement.
PSL NA made a workforce practices investment of more than $76,000 to train 87 employees for a total of 40 training and implementation hours. This represents a significant investment for PSL NA in employee time and skills development. All plant employees were trained in lean manufacturing and a Visual Workplace 5S System Kaizen event was successfully implemented at the coil prep station. Necessary tools are now located within 30 seconds of the point of need and implemented areas can now respond faster to customer demand.