- April 12, 2017
- Posted by: Cheryl Rybka
- Category: Productivity
“AirForce Airguns’ New Facility”
AirForce Airguns has been innovating, designing and producing precision pre-charged air guns at their Fort Worth, Texas headquarters for almost 20 years. With a team of 20 craftsman, machinist, and technical support staff AirForce Airguns is known for developing the most technologically advanced airgun shooting systems in the world and is the original and favorite black airgun. With a reputation for flexibility and legendary accuracy, AirForce Airguns offers a solution for just about any airgun shooting situation. Increased product demand prompted the construction of a new 21,500 sq. ft. manufacturing and headquarters building in Burleson, Texas in 2016.
AirForce Airguns’ management was faced with growing customer demands and a need for additional space to grow the business. They had simply out grown the old 8,000 sq. ft. facility. Process flow through the facility introduced many inefficiencies in the production of airguns. The management team at AirForce Airguns decided to engage TMAC to assist in the development of a new production plant layout to fit within a new 21,500 sq. ft. facility that was being constructed. In order to optimize the process flow, the new plant layout was designed with Lean Manufacturing Principles incorporated into the design.
A team based approach was used by TMAC for the development of the new plant layout customized to fit the new building constructed for AirForce Airguns.
The development of the new plant layout followed an overall project framework of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) incorporating Lean Manufacturing Principles into the design.
TMAC worked with key personnel chosen by AirForce Airguns to be on the development team for the new plant layout. The team members chosen were initially trained by TMAC on basic Lean Manufacturing Principles before any plant layout work began.
Following the DMAIC process, TMAC worked with the team to define requirements and design criteria for the new plant layout. The current state of the facility and equipment was documented on AutoCAD, as well as, the new facility building footprint.
TMAC then worked with the AirForce Airguns team to develop current state area maps and arrow diagrams depicting the flow of the various product value streams through the Fort Worth facility. Utilizing Lean Manufacturing Principles for product flow, TMAC worked with the team to develop alternative layout concepts to fit the new building. TMAC worked with the team and AirForce Airguns’ management to finalize the plant layout design to meet design criteria. The new facilities layout not only accommodates current production needs, but room was provided in the layout for future expansion into new business.
TMAC started working with AirForce Airguns in December 2015. The layout and move was completed by July 2016.
AirForce Airguns has seen improvement in production throughput since completion of the move. The new plant layout provides for much needed expansion space to introduce new products and establish new production processes. Overall production throughput has increased by 20% or more across the organization. The management at AirForce Airguns has seen a noticeable difference in the overall employee morale and culture at the new facility. There is a new sense of pride and ownership of the new facility by the employees and a 5S mentality is visibly present throughout the facility. The new facility and layout helps to promote and sell AirForce Airguns’ capabilities to customers when they visit the facility.