Saturday, October 12, 2002

5,000 Apple Pies...rightsizing containers

In the midst of a rapid spurt of training and input on Lean, we set up to make 5,000 apple pies at my son’s school for their big fall fundraiser.

As previously mentioned on this blog on Sept 17, I volunteered to help make the flow go well for the "manufacturing" process. So far, we have a plan, but it will all be about execution.

It all starts on Monday evening, when we do the layout of the gym. We’ll build three U-shaped cells, each of which can be staffed with 2-5 people. We’ll have material handlers that will move materials with marked containers from peeled apples through to crumb toppings. All of this will funnel bagged and boxed pies to a rented semi-trailer freezer sitting in the parking lot.

Takt time calculation says that if we make one pie every 13 seconds, we’ll have the whole thing done in two 9 hour shifts. The experienced people have all laughed at this. It normally has taken two 15 hour days.

Our big challenge will be how to utilize a widely varied number of volunteers. We’ll have a smattering of people in the mornings...a big bunch at night. Thus, my strategy is to have three cells prepared and then pull all the raw materials.

Stay tuned.

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