TEC-Eurolab & Kaizen Institute

The kaizen method and the culture of continuous improbe eng Improvement

Aims of the program

TEC-Eurolab has undertaken a process of growth to bring together results and the development of a culture of continuous improvement. This has been possible thanks to the implementation of the Kaizen program, which began in late 2015 and is still underway.

The Kaizen method is developed with the aim of improving the company’s performance, to constantly create opportunities for the various work groups to compare and exchange ideas, to work in harmony. Taking part in this program leads to:
  • increased productivity
  • quicker procedures
  • reduction of complaints
  • rationalized investments
With the opening of the second manufacturing site in Via Grieco, workflows had to be reviewed and made leaner. The main aim of this operation was to define and organize the layout of each individual site, while involving the team in defining the final configuration.

 

The kaizen method and the culture of continuous improbe eng Improvement (extended version)

Following a significant increase in the manufacturing volumes of one of our customers in the aerospace sector, involving several departments, a second “line design” activity was launched in parallel, resulting in a significant reduction in work order lead times, from 3 weeks to 5 days, and the employment of 2 resources instead of 5.

Also from a commercial point of view bureaucracy has been reduced, to ensure that business offers are sent by the end of the working day. With the Daily Kaizen program, the different working teams have begun to work in high-performance mode; with the creation and implementation of planning boards that make it possible to assess the different activities and the workload of the various operators and machines. This has made it possible to keep priorities under control and divide them on the basis of the customer’s requirements, thanks to the Poka Yoke mechanism (mistake-proof).

The teams defined two daily meetings in front of the planning board with an agenda that makes it possible to touch on all the key points and maintain the focus on the target. Any problems in the process and compilation of the report were taken into consideration using the Poka Yoke principle; these have been simplified thanks to the attribution of a bar code to each single sample, making it possible to give an automatic evaluation of conformity/non-conformity, once the report has been compiled. This procedure has allowed us to eliminate the errors that were being repeated during the process.

In addition to work flows, workplaces and equipment also need to be neat and organized. With the 5S program, workstations and workbenches have also been reorganized in a rational manner, and based on the logical order of activities, the ideal arrangement has been defined for all instrumentation. As far as consumables are concerned, however, the Kanban method has been applied with the aim of reducing stockpiles and guaranteeing the availability of whatever is needed, when and where needed.

For the training and certification department we focused on the Customer experience, by seeking continuous feedback from those participating in courses, while measures to be taken to improve results are assessed during a weekly meeting every Monday morning.

In the Kaizen program maintaining standards is also important. In fact, thanks to a “productive” audit, or Kamishibai, carried out on two levels, one daily and the other weekly, measures for improvement are generated that do not aim to identify a guilty party but rather to seek solutions to steps that have not proven to be optimal. This audit is carried out using simple cards that show a check-list: green (all OK) and red (if at least one item on the check-list is not OK).


What have been the results of the Kaizen project so far?
  • increased productivity
  • growth in volume
  • improvement in the working conditions of employees.

"The implementation of a Kaizen program calls for great commitment by management. Every single action, even those we take for granted, because we’ve been doing them that way for the past ten years, comes up for discussion. You have to accept that your employees are going to try their way too, not everything works out at the first attempt. If we consider the results obtained then the question shouldn’t be “Why are you using Kaizen?”, but “just give me one good reason not to use Kaizen".
Paolo Moscatti - TEC-Eurolab CEO 
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