Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cruise ship lean

 Changeover times a zillion: a 6,000 passenger cruise ship comes into port for a same-day turnaround. A great article about the logistics of changeover for the biggest cruise ships in the world. Some excerpts about eliminating motion, transport and waiting waste:
To prevent long immigration control lines from forming, departures are staggered over a few hours. Passengers begin to leave their cabins about 7 a.m. and must be off the ship by 10:30 a.m. The main bottleneck is juggling the flow of bags. Passengers are handed color-coded tags for their luggage, which is collected the night before the ship reaches the port.
The ship recently received four out of five stars on for the whole trip; the embarkation process was rated five out of five by most reviewers

They also figured out a way to clean rooms faster by borrowing from techniques used in auto manufacturing. The company conducted time and motion studies on their workers to identify where they could be more efficient.

On turnaround day, they have a precise list of tasks to perform. They first take out the dirty linen and towels and line them up in the hallways in green and red bags. The efficiency specialists decided that bedsheets and towels should be separated before they are sent to the laundry room.
Attendants work alone, except when they fit new sheets to the beds, when they pair up. That task should take three to five minutes at most, said Edna Pli, the head housekeeper. Thanks to this precise flow, 189 housekeepers can get more than 2,700 rooms ready by noon.
Hat tip to my friend Bill W who is engineering a sculpture for the sister ship. It's similar to this one his company Hypersonic did in Massachussets.