Striving for Zero Defects

David D. Hood, President, Induron Coatings

“Zero Defects!” So proclaimed a huge sign over the entrance to Lockheed Martin‘s production facility in Marietta, GA. It was 1966, and I was a newly minted junior engineer doing structural analysis on the forward bulkhead of the C-5A Galaxy. It seemed pretty obvious that defects in manufacturing an aircraft capable of lifting 800,000 pounds into the air were not well tolerated. Continue reading

Impacting Reliability

By Davies Hood, Induron President

By Davies Hood, Induron President

Our Core Values here at Induron are Integrity, Respect, RELIABILTY and Innovation. I was reminded of the least referenced one of these while reading this article in “Chemical Processing.”

As industrial paint manufacturers, we are considered part of the chemical industry, not only by ourselves, but also by the U.S. government. This article begins with the statement, “Reliability improvement remains imperative for chemical makers,” and mentions two of our biggest suppliers – Air Products and Chemicals and Dow Chemicals.

At Induron, we regularly report our Cycle Count (read more about Cycle Count here), which is an internal measure of doing things correctly time after time. More accurately put, it’s a measure of reliability. We consistently score in the 0.15 – 0.25 range (the lower the better), which by all accounts is an industry outlier.

This article talks about how Air Products and Dow have both taken an inward-looking metric and turned it inside out. This places their focus more on their customers than just their internal processes, and puts reliability at the forefront.

Two comments by Wilbur Mok, Air Products vice president of North American tonnage gases, that I particularly appreciated are, “We took the best operating practices and shared them globally. So now we operate each plant the same way.” This led to Air Products “freeing up site teams to spend more time on higher value tasks, such as preventative maintenance, improvement projects and troubleshooting.” Continue reading

What Cycle Count Says About Teamwork

By John Anspach, VP of Operations

Last week, I spoke about the importance of cycle count in terms of efficiency.  Our numbers are consistently low, and that’s something we are especially proud of around here.

The final numbers are in, and I can say that annually, our cycle count has been at .25 or less since 2007. That’s 5 years running. So how did we get and keep our numbers so low?

I can sum it up in one word: communication.

Our paint is made great by three teams: Paint Makers in our production department, the technical folks in the lab and quality control. Internally, these departments have a genuine respect for each other’s work. They have trusted relationships that allow for feedback. Continue reading

Why Cycle Count Matters in Paint Production

By John Anspach, VP of Operations

You’ve heard us talk about “cycle count.” This number is a tool to gauge how efficient and consistent you are when making paint.

Each time a batch is made, technicians perform a battery of tests to ensure it matches the formula and meets qualifications for viscosity, solids and flow. If it’s just right the first time, the cycle count is zero. If something is even a tiny bit off, the batch goes back to technicians and is adjusted. Testing is then repeated until the paint matches the qualifications exactly.

Each adjustment adds a number to the count. One adjustment equals a cycle count of 1, and so on. We take the average number of adjustments to get our cycle count. You can see why you would want to keep this number low:  Continue reading

First Cycle Count of 2012

Our Cycle Count for January 2012 was 0.17. This is a great start to the new year, and shows our employees are ready to tackle 2012 with exceptional accuracy. Can we go lower in February? We’ll find out soon!

What is Cycle Count?

Each month, we do an internal report called “Cycle Count,” to summarize all our “Production corrections” in one number. Cycle count is a direct measure of how well we perform at “doing it right the first time, every time.” Continue reading

December and Year-End Cycle Counts

Our Cycle Count for December 2011 was 0.21. This is a great number, but even better are our 4th quarter and year-end cycle counts – 0.17 and 0.19, respectively!

We met all of our Quality Goals in the 4th quarter of 2011 – it was our best quarter and year-to-date ever! Congratulations Induron Operations Team!

What is Cycle Count?  Continue reading

Zero Defects!

By David Hood, Induron President

“Zero Defects!” So proclaimed a huge sign over the entrance to Lockheed- Martin’s production facility in Marietta, Ga. It was 1966, and I was a newly minted junior engineer doing structural analysis on the forward bulkhead of the C-5A Galaxy. It seemed pretty obvious that defects in manufacturing an aircraft capable of lifting 800,000 pounds into the air were not well tolerated.  Continue reading