P18701: ABVI Sewing Facility Improvement

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

Project Summary

Currently, production flow is scattered causing transportation and motion waste. Additionally, there are limited jobs that can be performed by blind or visually impaired employees. This makes meeting a requirement of 75% blind or visually impaired employees difficult.

The desired state is a more efficient floor layout that will include a flexible area that is easily modified for new jobs. The new layout will limit waste and include additional blind/visually impaired jobs.

Project Background

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) empowers people with vision loss to engage in fulfilling careers by offering a variety of specialized products, including a sewing production line whose products include various uniforms for the federal government. A mix of approximately 40 blind and sighted employees work various shifts throughout the day, year round.

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Project goals are to create a clearly documented current state of the facility, create a new floor layout, and work to convert sighted jobs to blind/visually impaired. Ergonomics, quality, and safety concerns for employees will be kept in mind during all changes.


The new layout will maintain the current available square footage and will place blind/visually impaired jobs near the front of the work environment. Current electrical and pressurized air connections will be used when possible, and any budget requirements will be proposed to and approved by ABVI.


Use Cases

Use Scenario Key Stakeholders
Modifications to sewing equipment Maintenance employees, Sewing employees
Modifications to raw material storage Shipping personnel
Blind sensitivity training SEW LEAN team members, Sewing employees
Process safety All

Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

A live document with our Customer Requirements can be viewed here: Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

A live document with our Engineering Requirements can be viewed here: Engineering Requirements

House of Quality

House of Quality

House of Quality

A live document with our House of Quality can be viewed here: House of Quality

Flow Diagrams

To understand the process SEW LEAN completed flow diagrams of the pant and oven mitt process during this phase. The diagrams can be viewed here:

Pants Flow Diagram

Oven Mitt Flow Diagram

Design Review Materials

The SEW LEAN Planning & Definition Phase Presentation can be found here: Planning & Definition Presentation

Plans for next phase

Melissa, Jenn, Ashley, Ryan, Zain

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