It has been three weeks since I have arrived at the Oscar Mayer plant in Newberry, South Carolina. Coming into the facility as a brand-new employee was not as intimidating as I had thought it would be for a few reasons. First, everyone I have met has been welcoming and helpful in providing me with direction. Second, I entered this plant alongside a fellow OMT who was also my roommate throughout training at Corporate: Ben Gallatin. Finally, completing three internships throughout college has helped me assimilate quickly into new positions. Throughout my program, I will work on my Yellow Belt project as well as alongside the Project Engineering team on a variety of other projects. It has been hard to do much project-related work so far because of a program for new hires at this plant called U Tour. I am conducting 45 meetings with managers and supervisors each lasting around 1-2 hours in the first month before I jump into my role. This will, however, help to gain an overview of our processes and resources at the plant which will help with my projects.
I received a brief overview of my Yellow Belt project the first week that I arrived. I will be reducing downtime on our Deli Fresh lines by implementing a cultural change to how our maintenance team deals with the lines when parts break. Instead of shutting down the line to troubleshoot and fix the equipment on the spot, they will change out the broken equipment with a backup and fix the equipment back in the shop so the line can continue running. After analyzing downtime and maintenance repair data and speaking with people from a variety of functions, I have been able to narrow the scope of my project to pinpoint what pieces of equipment to focus on implementing this change on. There is push back from maintenance on the feasibility of quick change outs on the equipment (which holds true with the current designs), but that is where the Project Engineering team needs to get creative and perhaps make some changes to design.