Bahrain Fiberglass International (BFG) supplies fiber and fiberglass composite products and systems for a wide variety of customers throughout every major region of the world. The organization designs, manufactures, repairs, and installs on-site systems in a multitude of industries including architecture, energy, and transportation.
They produce fiber products for wind farms, large construction projects like airports and buildings, and train systems including train stations.
BFG needed to ramp up production quickly in order to maximize profits by the nature of the contracts it acquires. This need was most evident for planning the supply chain, especially in their high-mix low-volume environment.
Synchronization between production, supply chain management, and project management
Skill training needed to optimize flow and level the workload
Need to develop technology to connect all global functions and expertise
High rework rate and high cost of rework
Need to dynamically include customers in the design, inspection, compliance, and manufacturing process
With efforts underway, we developed and deployed a multi-layered production planning system for each client line of business. We did this at each process on the factory floors in four plants. We then developed and deployed a visual escalation board specifically for the leadership to utilize, thus preventing all future issues from stagnating.
We created a method to dynamically train and share new skills on the job, which was deployed to the front line staff with eagerness. To further this, we developed a zero defect PDCA problem-solving system for the quality and delivery of each composite component.
Finally, we implemented custom information dashboards to share results and engineering challenges with all of BFG’s global facilities. This allowed the organization, as a whole, to replicate any successful methods discovered at any one of its facilities to deliver the best results for all customers. Finally, we implemented cross-plant and cross-country on-the-job training to ensure world-wide stability for the entire enterprise.
Within a short time, throughput increased by 200%, while quality defects were reduced from an industry norm of 32% to 0% in only 4 months. On the production floor, WIP was reduced from 300 composite panels to just 50 at a given time in a given area.
Likewise, the manufacturing lead-time shrank from 2 weeks to same-day. Our deployment of our engineering and quality information system, which links the global organization, has shortened lead times, highlighted the real needs of customers, and increased the quality of the products. With this revolutionary new system, the customer’s voice is integrated into the factory and quality processes.
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