SRF-JRMC Det. Sasebo team awarded at IA exhibition
Members of U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) Detachment Sasebo recently recognized the award-winning Improvement Activity (IA) team from the Sheetmetal Shop. Competing at a Japan-wide Improvement Activity Exhibition, the Sheetmetal Shop’s “Cover Sheet Box Storage” IA earned the “Best Team” Award. Takeyuki Motoki, Matsuyoshi Iwanaga, and Hitoshi Muta led the winning team.
At SRF-JRMC, rolls of vinyl material are used to make protective cover sheets. Approximately three feet wide and weighing 15 pounds, these rolls were stored in a box in the Sheetmetal Shop. Used throughout the Production Shop, cover sheets can prevent dust from spreading while work is being conducted. They can also be used to wrap various items, such as equipment, parts and Sheetmetal products, for protection and to prevent spills while transporting between ships and the Production Shop. Previously, employees had to carry the cover sheet roll to the workbench to cut off the needed material, and then return it to the storage location whenever needed. To save time and effort, improving the process was in order.
The team’s objective was to be able to store the cover sheet rolls easily and reduce their movement, as well as reduce the number of workers needed for the cutting procedure. Motoki explained, “The problem identified was how difficult to cut the transparent vinyl cover sheet material. We had to take the whole roll out of its box, carry it to the work site, set it vertically on end or lay it down on the floor. Cutting it required two workers. When finished, we had to return the roll to the box. Furthermore, space was not always available for storage of the box.”
To ensure “all bases were covered” in designing their improvement, the team gathered advice from various codes and shops. The Environmental, Safety and Health Office advised members to be mindful of their surroundings. The Shop Division and the Continuous Improvement Office advised members to consider the layout. An important suggestion included arranging the layout to permit employees to stand during the cutting procedure in more effective positions, while ensuring the safety of all employees involved.
As a result, the team developed the “Cover Sheet Storage Box”. Kitchen plastic wrap inspired the design. By attaching the box to the side of the workbench, the new location and height makes it easier for one person to cut. Additionally, this no longer requires transporting the roll to and from the cutting site, and separate storage space is no longer needed. In addition, cut are now very clean.
“The ‘Cover Sheet Storage Box’ has been very helpful because we do not need to bring the roll to the work site, which also makes it safe. Most of all, we think it looks so cool!” commented the team.