Top Plant 2012: Masco Cabinetry


Thurston agrees that TPM has helped the plant significantly. “Our productivity was about 50% to 60% five years ago,” he said. “Now, we run between 75% and 80% The door building process at Masco is one area where employee input and cooperation helped improve operational efficiency. Courtesy: Louis Quattrini, MACH III PHOTOproductivity. Our productivity has increased because of TPM and the teams taking care of the equipment.”

Energy management

The Sayre plant conducts annual energy audits, which focus on consumption of electricity, natural gas, and water. Lighting, compressed air, and production equipment are included in the electrical audits. In regard to energy management, Hawthorne said that a multi-layered approach has been critical. “At the plant floor level, our focus on ISO-14001 and its commitment to continuous improvement has us turning off lights and fans,” he said. “And at the management level, tools like ‘Eco-valuation’ (a corporate-led environmental analysis process) have helped us reduce some of our larger energy consumption, such as that from air compressors and machines.”

The Sayre plant installed an automated system to monitor its four air compressors: one 100 hp and three 200 hp units that operate in parallel. The monitoring system automatically turns compressors on and off in response to demand to maintain the required 92 psi. White said the control system runs the 100 hp unit first and then starts the 200 hp compressors one at a time as needed. “Based on our demand scheme, we run the 100 hp and only one of the 200 hp compressors at any given time,” he said.

In the dimension department, automated scanning equipment detects defects and parts are cut to size on the chop line. Courtesy: Louis Quattrini, MACH III PHOTOPlant lighting has been changed from metal halide to T8 fluorescent. Motion sensors were installed in offices and point-of-use switches were installed for task lighting over equipment. A plant-wide energy management system monitors consumption and demand. Alarms provide immediate notification when parameters such as voltage, current, power, and demand setpoints are exceeded so that corrective actions can be taken quickly.

Dual-fuel biomass/NG boilers operate almost exclusively on wood waste. Minimal gas is used to provide hot water for restrooms and for office HVAC systems in winter. Sawdust from the manufacturing processes is removed by a dust collection system and goes into a silo along with scrap wood pieces. The silo feeds two 20,000 lb boilers, which heat the plant and provide steam for kiln drying operations.

“Both of these boilers are capable of using biomass or natural gas for fuel,” said Ed Bustin, manager of environmental, health, and safety. “We rarely run two of them—usually, it’s just one. The only time we run natural gas in the boilers is either when we Scrap wood is ground and combined with collected sawdust in a storage silo that feeds two 20,000-lb boilers that provide heat for the plant and steam for the kilns. Courtesy: Louis Quattrini, MACH III PHOTOhave an extended biomass fuel feed failure or when we run out of materials in the silo, (usually around extended breaks when production doesn’t run, such as holidays). Our boiler technicians do an outstanding job managing this system, and the results are lower fuel cost and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.”

Operating safely

The Sayre plant has worked more than 1 million hours without a lost-time accident, a run dating back to March 2011. Continuous improvement is alive and well within the Sayre safety culture. The plant reduced recordable injuries in each of the last 12 years, leading to a current incident rate that is significantly below the national average for kitchen manufacturing.

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