Metform Safety Team Improves Safety and Efficiency in Two Departments

PDCA Tool Helps Evaluate Problem and Identify Solutions
Metform’s Extrusion Science Safety Team is always looking for a safety challenge to help achieve “Mission Zero.” During a safety team meeting, the process for pit inspection was discussed. A PDCA tool helped to evaluate the problem and identify solutions. 


Live Cameras Mounted for Pit Monitoring
Mounting live cameras for pit monitoring was used on a production line. Installed cameras helped to view parts in elevated hoppers. Prior to cameras, team members needed to climb a ladder to inspect tubs. Using cameras, inspections are now done safely on ground level.

Cameras Incorporated Into Another Department
Four cameras were installed in another department to stream to a display unit. The pit can now be viewed from all angles on the top side of the machine in real time enabling operation and maintenance teams to view pits without entering the pit.

With the installation of these cameras, the Target State has been achieved—no team member needs to enter the pit unless machine maintenance is required. Additionally, production time has improved. Opportunities are being explored for other buildings.

A Safety Challenge Looking for a Solution
Lubrication lines that were covered for safety precautions needed to be monitored. The challenge was how to safely identify a broken line while the machine was running.

The team installed a TPM system to identify and predict when lines might break. This was effective but did not provide instant feedback from the machine. The team experimented with different styles of fittings to increase the life of the lubrication lines, however, this wasn’t enough.

Monitoring with Cameras
After speaking with the Safety Team to understand how cameras made the process of monitoring pits safer and easier, the team responsible for lubrication lines decided to borrow the idea to see if it would work for them.

Since camera installation, the team now monitors areas of the machine safely and receives instant feedback on the machine’s operation. A camera has also been installed to help monitor filling of the tubs. This saves steps in running the machine and helps the team concentrate on other aspects of their job such as focusing on the quality of parts.  

Cameras have been good for machine life, and helping the operation team complete their job more efficiently and safely.

This story is a great example of teams working together to achieve a safer and more productive working environment and move the company closer to achieving “Mission Zero.”  Great job, safety teams!  

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