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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 11, November 2011, Posted On: 10/24/2011

At Benchmark Games, Continuous Improvement Reduces Lead-Time To Four Weeks

Nick Montano
Andon lights, lean manufacturing, Benchmark Games, Benchmark lade time, amusement games, redemption games, amusement machine factory, amusement machine manufacturing, Al Kress, continuous improvement, coin machine

HYPOLUXO, FL -- Benchmark Games has improved its production capacity and implemented several new manufacturing programs to expedite orders. Improvements include a new factory floor layout and lean manufacturing processes that are expected to reduce lead-time to four weeks, the company reports.

The Hypoluxo, FL-based maker of amusement machines explained that lean manufacturing eliminates steps that add no value by reducing waiting, transportation, material handoffs, inventory and overproduction, among other wasteful activities.

Benchmark Games_Andon Light Stacks

During its recent upgrade, the factory installed Andon lights, a tricolored lighting system that instantly alerts support personnel to problems on assembly lines. If components are missing or additional materials are needed, for example, Benchmark's Andon system will notify the appropriate production workers to bring them to the line.

PHOTO: Andon light stacks at Benchmark's Hypoluxo, FL, factory can reduce manufacturing downtime by notifying workers of problems on an assembly line. This simple visual management system was originally developed as quality-control method within the Toyota Production System and has now been incorporated into standard lean manufacturing practices.

Benchmark's new factory floor is organized into five lines for the final assembly of games. The factory also has its own fabrication areas for custom parts and cabinets; raw materials enter fabrication and finished games roll off the assembly lines. Benchmark also produces its own wiring harnesses. It is presently building 14 different amusement devices and custom variations of those.

Like most companies practicing lean manufacturing techniques, Benchmark's managers and production personnel work together to design all production processes. Lean manufacturing also involves the 5S principles: sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing and sustaining.

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