Our Client, a Leading Global Transmission Manufacturer, with a passion for excellence, produces large turbine products within a global network of 18 facilities. They aspired to become the company pathfinder in applying a Lean Business Transformation within their facility. Their products have long lead times due to their size, complexity and variation. Their workforce is highly skilled and considered their processes to be dependent upon their skills and knowledge. Therefore, there was a view, within the company, that applying Lean Principles and Methods to such long cycle processes was not applicable. @Ingeniuslean
were invited to support the client to :
- Develop a way to introduce Lean to the organisation through initially, a training and development activity.
- Establish, based on critical business indicator performance, transformation projects to show the opportunities and benefits.
- Create the company governance, daily management structure.
- Create a clear knowledge transfer plan to achieve sustained results in the future.
Hourly Tracking of Each Product
worked with the global and local management team to create a business plan in line with the parent company vision. The plan was developed based on a detailed analysis ‘grasping the situation’ of the current business condition. The improvement project was split into 3 key areas:
- Coaching and mentoring of the management team in the techniques required to develop a open, transparent and results driven management culture.
- The creation of a bespoke, niche lean academy with developed activities linking lean to their individual processes.
- Developing a series of 3 month, rapid improvement projects gaining plant improvements whilst training lean expert trainees on each of those projects to create a future environment of continuous improvement and sustainability.
The @Ingeniuslean Challenge / Solution
One Piece Flow of Products
As the product cycle time was long, over 38 hours, with many products in process at the same time, it was virtually impossible to judge the condition and progress of each transmission. It was purely reliant based upon discussions with the craftsman or timely investigations. Other problems identified to challenge:
- Products were left stranded waiting for part delivery due to shortages or poor production planning.
- Transmissions left isolated, drifting past the planned cycle times without any escalation.
- Delayed transmissions due to operational, poor organisation or technical problems.
- Sub assembly processes not linked to the main build creating either high inventory or shortages.
The solutions and implementation consisted of:
- Identifying and setting-up the Department Improvement teams and coaching them in the principles of Lean Principles & KPI Tree (balanced score card).
- Completing a Deep Dive activity – a waste analysis on all processes.
- Implementing a future state layout to minimise excess walking and material movements in completing assemblies. All equipment and locations were also fixed in relationship to point of use.
- Setting-up material racks by process, two-bin system, Kanban system, component change kit boxes to reduce shortage issues.
- Setting-up tooling by process instead of by craftsman using shadow board techniques.
- Daily shop walks with Management to drive local ownership and behaviour change.
An important and successful part of the project was a visualisation system to show the exact status of each transmission to highlight and escalate problems immediately.
The plant visualisation was changed significantly allowing for live information and status of every product. Management can judge whether they are on plan or behind and therefore make informed decisions. The daily management meeting has created a culture of transparency which allows for quick action and teamwork when a business metric is highlighted as a problem. The plant organisation has created streamlined processes with the focus on eliminating waste with processes designed with one piece flow in mind and all parts and equipment visualised locally. This again allows for ownership with the craftsman to manage his process and escalate issues quickly. With all of these benefits, the bottom line is the improvement in business metrics. The on time delivery has increased from 68% to 87% with ongoing improvements identified. The cycle time has decreased by 24% due to layout and workplace organisation. But above all, as mentioned previously, the daily management meeting has allowed for eliminating the information gap thus much quicker reactions.