The following is a preview from the July 2018 issue of The Scoop, the quarterly printed magazine for Dal-Tile team members. The issue was mailed to team members' home addresses and will be posted in PDF format to myMohawk later this month.
As brick paver products become more popular, Dal-Tile's Lewisport, Kentucky, quarry tile plant continues to find new ways to be more efficient in order to be more effective in meeting demand.
Through combined efforts of team members at the plant, Corporate Engineering and the Product Design team, several improvements to the plant's paver tile lines have led to big savings in time and money.
"We started our inkjet production line in 2016, and halfway through 2017, we took the next step of finding ways to make our processes more efficient to meet the higher demand for our brick paver products," Plant Manager Steven Stilwell said. "It took the dedicated work of several team members in different areas of the production to find ways to improve our line as a whole. The process itself really stayed the same, we just found ways to upgrade those processes and manage them in a different, more effective way."
Their combined efforts led to several different improvements:
- Brick paver molds were upgraded to isostatic punches that produce a better-quality tile and reduce waste
- Conveyer belts for the glazing process were redesigned to help cycles be more efficient while cutting down waste
- Work was done with the application of glazes and inks to reduce cracks and improve shades
- New and improved standard operating procedures were developed to ensure their processes and training were as efficient as possible
"The team here really took it and ran with it," Inkjet Changeover Operator Josh Marchinoski said. "Our people here are 'go getters' — so once we implemented the new process changes and started training the operators, they were on it.
"We're really proud of the work they are doing, and of the support we've received from many teams across Dal-Tile."
Dal-Tile teammates Will Anderson, Kyle Deck, Jared Taylor and Marchinoski were part of the team at Lewisport who collaborated on process improvements that enabled them to be even better at delivering sought-after brick paver products.
The plant produces several different styles of brick pavers that can be used in interior and exterior applications, for both residential and commercial customers.