August 2014 |   Volume: 46 |   Number: 8
The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers
The day we strive for
Industrial engineering team leaderBridgestone-Aiken PSR/LTR Tire PlantGraniteville, South Carolina
I’m the industrial engineering team leader for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations at its Aiken County PSR/LTR Tire Plant in Graniteville, South Carolina. I’m responsible for planning, directing and organizing all IE activities in our facility. I propose, plan and execute projects that enhance performance or increase capabilities for the business. I also initiate and lead cross-functional teams to implement products, processes, systems and technologies that drive efficiencies and cost savings. My job is not only to look at day-to-day manufacturing efficiencies, but also to strategize and plan for long-term achievement of reduced plant cost and increased productivity for the business.
In a manufacturing facility, where every second of cycle time reduced or man-hours saved contributes greatly toward the bottom line, I lean heavily on my IE tools and techniques to succeed. On a daily basis, I use techniques like benchmarking, statistical analysis, equipment utilization, 5S, kaizen, layout planning, standardization, Six Sigma, etc.
Some of the most satisfying work moments have come from being able to impart my enthusiasm and passion for continuous improvement to my team members. The best part is when I’m walking the plant floor and a machine operator stops me excitedly to share an idea for kaizen, knowing that I fully share in that excitement.
My perfect day would start with me doing a review of key production metrics to determine areas of current focus and allocate resources. I then would meet with the team to discuss current project status and brainstorm ideas for future continuous improvement projects based on bottleneck areas, benchmarking ideas or business needs.
I would like to pursue a degree in business administration. I believe this degree, coupled with my industrial engineering experience in a manufacturing industry, will help me achieve my long-term goal of leading a manufacturing unit or a business operation myself.
– Interview by David Brandt
David Brandt is the Web managing editor for IIE.