P15712: Qualitrol Component Inventory Management


Project Summary Project Information
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Qualitrol is very mature in terms of its lean practices. Consistent with this, it continues to seek opportunities for continuous improvement in its business processes. Qualitrol has a materials presentation system in place for components, however, it does not allow for easy visual management or utilize the optimal amount of space. The desired state after project implementation is to have a repeatable set of rules that set standards in cells for "what good looks like." The team is exploring different arrangements of parts, different visual cues and signals, and other elements to help make this vision a reality.

Problem Definition Phase
This phase was the most important to the team. The team and customer agreed on expectations, deliverables, and goals of the project. An understanding of the current state was developed and brainstorming for potential future states began. The team set team values and norms in order to ensure effective communication and to work toward project success.

Systems Design Phase
This phase ended with a gemba walk with the team guide. This was crucial because it helped the team and guide have more effective conversations regarding the current state of the cell and the desired future state of the cell. After feedback from the customer and key stakeholders, the team began to develop test plans to in order to validate design ideas.

Subsystems Design Phase
This phase propelled the team further as far as how to move forward with the project. After a meeting on April 2, 2015 with four members of the Rochester IIE chapter, the team felt confident with which metrics to collect, experiments to run, and how to measure the success of the project. The IIE members effectively answered team questions, provided valuable insights and helped the team think a bit outside of the box regarding potential design ideas.

Detailed Design Phase
During this phase, the team initiated a series of experiments that could help justify design ideas. The experiments are still running and are checked on during facility visits. The team is continuing the development of material presentation rules. Moving forward, the team will update 5S documentation to ensure material presentation is included. Audit forms will be created and other cells will be assessed to see if the rules work or need design exceptions.

Complete Design Phase
During this last phase of MSD I, the team spent the majority of the time creating an audit sheet aligning with material presentation rules and spending time in other areas of the plant conducting audits. This was done in order to help fine-tune the rules as well as to ensure rule clarity and that the audit scale is appropriate and easily understood. The data collected form these audits was used to help create new rules as well as to ensure that "What Good Looks Like" could be applied plant-wide.

So far this Semester, the team has completed work in Cell 922A. When work began, 922A scored an average of 25/45 points on the group's audit. The cell now scores a 43/45. The couple points that keep it from being perfect are issues are due to restrictions on bin sizes. Some parts are too large to be put into yellow bins. While not particularly common within individual cells, these sorts of issues are common to multiple other cells and are under evaluation.

The following visual represents cell conversion difficulty / application of material presentation rules as a system. After observing, documenting, designing, and implementing rules, the team organized which characteristics of cells make them hard to transform, medium difficulty to transform, or easy to transform.


Project Name
Qualitrol Component Inventory Management
Project Number
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
John Kaemmerlen, jxkpdm@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Jim Nierderst, Qualitrol, Purchasing Manager

Team Members

Left to Right: Rachel, Samantha, Yelena, and Nate

Left to Right: Rachel, Samantha, Yelena, and Nate

Member Role Contact
Samantha Reinhart Project Manager sar9260@rit.edu
Nathan Arrowsmith Team Member nea4305@rit.edu
Yelena Tuzikova Team Member ygt3489@rit.edu
Rachel Short Team Member rls4777@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution

Gate Reviews

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Subsystems Design

Detailed Design

Build, Test, Document

Cell Progression Photos

Publications & Presentations


Planning & Execution | Problem Definition | Systems Design | Subsystems Design | Detailed Design | Build, Test, Document | Cell Progression Photos | Publications & Presentations | Photo Gallery