Success Stories

Value Stream Mapping and Lean Tools Help Buhler Industries, Inc. Reduce Lead Time by 6.1% and Changeover Time by 45%

Buhler Industries Inc.

Buhler Industries Inc. was established in 1969 when John Buhler purchased "Standard Gas Engine Works", which was founded in 1932. The company produced the Farm King line of grain augers, snowblowers, mowers and compact implements. Buhler Industries expanded in 1982 with the purchase of the Allied line of front-end loaders. Through steady expansion, new products and acquisitions, the company has experienced progress and steady growth. Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Buhler Industries Inc. operates a total of seven factories in Canada and the United States. Over the years, many brands have joined Buhler Industries: Farm King, Allied, Inland and Versatile. Factories in Morden and Winnipeg, MB, and Fargo, ND, build front-end loaders, tractors, sprayers, grain handling equipment, compact implements and more. Buhler Industries maintains several well-stocked parts warehouses.

It began trading on the TSE in 1994, at which time all products were marketed under the "Buhler" brand name. In 2000, the company acquired the Versatile tractor factory in Winnipeg, MB. In November 2007, Combine Factory Rostselmash, a Russian combine manufacturer, purchased 80% of the common shares of Buhler Industries Inc., effectively acquiring managing control of the company.

At time of initial training in 2010, B.I.I. Fargo, Inc., employed 90 people. Currently, B.I.I. Fargo, Inc. has approximately 140 employees.

Bottlenecks and Waste Hurting Production

B.I.I. Fargo, Inc. met with Impact Dakota to discuss the need to identify bottlenecks and to reduce waste in order to create capacity for future production loads. They are experiencing good growth and will be adding product lines in the near future. During the meeting they focused on the needs and worked on developing a plan of training, discovery, and process improvement training specific. Value Stream Mapping was identified as a tool to assist in identifying the bottleneck as this is a comprehensive, visual way to map the information and material flow through the business.

B.I.I. Fargo, Inc. also expressed a desire to learn how to facilitate kaizen events for rapid improvement. After some discussion on the type of training they would benefit from most, it was determined that changeover times were preventing them from reducing to small batch sizes and mix the order of product build.

Value Stream Mapping and Setup Reducation Time Training

Value Stream Mapping and Setup Reduction Time Training were scheduled.

The greatest benefits were achieved from the door-to-door VSM exercise pointing to the production constraints within the product family processes, and along with a setup reduction project, a prioritized order and plan for subsequent projects was identified and executed. Impact Dakota and the B.I.I. Fargo, Inc. cross-functional team will establish the necessary metrics to determine the degree of improvements and provide a means for ongoing monitoring of those improvements.

Setup Reduction builds on the principles of the Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) system developed by Shigeo Shingo to dramatically reduce or eliminate change over time. The four-step Changeover Improvement Process is used to help companies design no/low cost solutions to reduce change over time. This, in turn, allows the client to meet customer demands for high-quality, low-cost products, delivered quickly, and without the expense of excess inventory. 

Reduction in Lead Time and Changover Time

B.I.I. Fargo, Inc., realized fantastic results!

Value Stream Mapping – Major Product Line
Reduced Non-Value Added time by 5.8%
Reduced Value Added time by 18.9%
Reduced overall Lead Time by 6.1%

235 Ton Brake Press Die Setup Reduction:
Previous Time = 11:45 minutes
Project Outcome = 6:29 minutes
Time Savings = 5:16 minutes
45% reduction in die changeover time!

Weld fixture Setup Reduction:
Previous Time = 18:36 minutes
Project Outcome = 10:18 minutes
Time Savings = 8:18 minutes
45% reduction in weld fixture changeover time!

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