Spring Hill, Tennessee
To meet the growing customer demand for their crossover vehicles, General Motors decided to assemble the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia models at their existing plant in Spring Hill. They recognized that the introduction of these vehicles would not only boost their production volumes at this plant, but also increase the complexity and number of parts (3,500 unique parts) moving through the complex. They sought a consultant to develop an updated materials management strategy that embraces lean best practices, optimizing material flow from the on-campus warehouses and internal plant storage areas to the assembly lines and increasing the value-added work completed by assembly operators.
Our team of industrial engineers analyzed the Spring Hill complex’s logistics optimization center (comprised of two warehouses), general assembly building, and two injection molding facilities. In addition to updating the storage, dock, material flow, and resource plans, we developed new lean material strategy (LMS) kitting cells throughout each of the five facilities, designing the kit cell layouts and determining the associated labor requirements. GM aimed to reduce the amount of time each assembly operator spends walking to get parts and increase the value of work by bringing the material used to build the vehicles closer to the process. Our proposed solution increases the total amount of parts kitted through the LMS cells and reduces the material being delivered and displayed at each workstation.
GM adopted our recommendations, implementing our materials management strategies, setting up our LMS cell designs, and hiring additional resources to complete the kitting process. These important updates have enabled the automaker to operate more efficiently and create value in their production processes, effectively positioning their Spring Hill plant to meet the burgeoning demand for their crossover vehicles.