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34 SMT Magazine • August 2017 our Florida and Massachusetts facilities, Incito Man training for all employees in addition to 150 employees that received this training in our Mexico facility. This program is an introduction to product flow, value stream mapping, and Lean manufacturing. Incito Man is a combina- tion of classroom study and live, hands-on sim- ulation. We train in groups of 25 employees se- lected from a variety of departments. They start in a classroom environment where they are giv- en the basics of Lean. Then they're brought into the live simulation room where they are in- structed that they have to build 30 robots out of Legos in 15 minutes. The process they are given is heavily constrained and flawed. After 15 minutes, the employees have built somewhere between zero and three units. Of- ten, there are defects in these units and em- ployees are convinced that this is an impossi- ble task. We review what went wrong and what went right with the round. The responses vary, but typical themes are that the "stockroom personnel" are disorga- nized and that additional personnel are needed. The employees go back into the classroom and are shown how progressive build and better flow can yield higher quality product and more vol- ume. Employees are shown the basics of creat- ing a value stream map and will map out the In- cito Man build. Meanwhile, the simulation has been reset and the employees are turned loose once again to attempt to build 30 robots in 15 minutes. They can move some of the processes, eliminating or reducing some constraints. During this round, we typically get 10 to 12 units to our customer. As a group, we review cy- cle times and takt time requirements for the sec- ond round and discuss what went better during that round and what has yet to be improved. The third classroom session involves 5S organi- zation and visual identification of product sta- tus. All constraints are removed for the third round and employees can reorganize the entire process. It's common that, by this time, the employ- ees have streamlined the process to the point where they are able to free up some resourc- es and build using less personnel (remember in the earlier rounds, when they thought that adding personnel was the solution?). Those that have been freed up from their tasks are assigned a "development project" building Lego drag- ons. The simulation is restarted and we near- ly always get all 30 robots to the customer as well as five to 10 Lego dragons. Aside from be- ing a great team building exercise, we've given the employees basic tools to make their job easi- er and their workplace, more efficient. Most em- ployees can't wait to get back to the shop and employ some of their new skills. It generates a ton of excitement for continuous improvement. Several of our suppliers and customers have sent their own employees to participate in the Incito Man training alongside MC Assembly's employees. Through this training, we hope to promote understanding and help bring up the level of those who provide service to us. Incito Man training is given to all em- ployees, as Lean can be applied to all aspects of our business. However, much of our train- ing is more specialized depending on the em- ployee's job function. We provided Excel train- ing for our production control, manufactur- ing supervisors, and process data manage- ment personnel. Al- though many of these employees had a firm grasp on the basics of Excel, they lacked some of the advanced training that allowed them to more fully use the software pack- age and create short- EMPOWERING THE WORKFORCE THROUGH TRAINING: AN INVESTMENT RETURN Figure 1: MC Assembly's Mexico facility team undergoing government certified electronics training course.

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