Champions of a cell transformation
By Robert Shannon, 76th Maintenance Wing
/ Published July 18, 2007
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE --
When asked, what would you tell someone who is uncertain about the changes coming as part of the 76th Maintenance Wing transformation efforts? Terry Jennings, the F100 Inlet Fan Disk Cell leader responds, "Come on down and talk to any of the folks who work in the F100 Inlet Fan Disk Cell and they will tell and show you the improvements and successes we have experienced in a very short time."
Mr. Jennings is quick to praise the men and women of the Inlet Fan Disk Cell.
"Since we stood up as a cell in March of 2006, we've continually pushed to improve our area, our processes, and ourselves," he said. "Working together we have found many ways to do our jobs better and reduce the time it takes to move our fan disks through the cell. Being empowered, we all feel free to make decisions and improvements and it has made us eager to learn new skills to further improve our processes and help each other."
Mr. Jennings is a true champion of the Lean Cell Design Process. His enthusiasm is contagious and the proof is in the success of this cell. Since completing the transformation last year, this group improved their processes saving the taxpayers considerably.
They identified and recommended changes to eddy current inspection criteria for high value parts reducing the failure rate from 75 to 25 percent. They improved process flow by rearranging the shelving in the ovens and improved the turntables in the paint booth to eliminate non-value added steps in these procedures.
This group is always looking for better ways to improve the processes to reduce cost and make a better product for the warfighter. Mr. Jennings said the transformation has improved more than just the processes.
"I find that I have more time to focus on leadership duties, such as making sure the folks in the cell have what they need to do their jobs," he said. "Because we are all empowered to make decisions and take action, most issues are fixed by the worker who is responsible for that part of the process."
This group was very quick to grasp the benefits of the new lean cell. Having helped design and implement the transformation, the members of the cell are very excited to have input into the continuous improvement process.
"This is a great team," Mr. Jennings said. "They are always looking to learn new things to be able to help each other move our disks through the cell. They have made me very proud of the improvements they have implemented as part of our continuous improvement processes."
Toby Kaiser-Arnett, 76th MXW Depot Maintenance Transformation Office chief, said a strong continuous improvement program is a must.
"Many times when a company completes a significant step change, the temptation exists to think the change is over, when in reality the change has just begun," she said. "So, we have built a robust continuous improvement program into our transformed cells and operations.
"As we build the new cells, we have mentors, who work with our mechanics to build a continuous improvement program second to none. Terry Jennings and the members of the F100 Inlet Fan Disk Cell are proof that as we transform we are capable of many great accomplishments and improvements."