Lean Management at Burckhardt Compression
To keep doing a good job, we need to always get better. [email protected] is not some secret code, it stands for team-based process quality and as such represents a work philosophy.
Focus on shorter lead times
The program was launched in 2009 and is now a fixed part of our Design & Manufacturing unit. Supervisors and employees receive some basic training in lean and change management but most of the program activities revolve around project teams and their workshops. These interdepartmental teams work on creating specific solutions together with lean coordinators and then implement these solutions in their everyday work. The main objective is to constantly reduce lead times through sustained business improvements. Each project is described in detail and project outcomes are measured against clearly defined criteria.
One example of the many benefits this program has provided is workspace optimization. Instead of keeping certain tools at a central warehouse, for example, many workspaces are now individually equipped with the tools that are needed to get the job done. No more time is lost walking back and forth for tools, employee satisfaction has increased and efficiency has improved. Together with a new planning concept, a significant reduction in lead times has been achieved.
Furthermore, a one-piece flow or continuous connected workflow method consisting of five steps was introduced for certain stages of the manufacturing process. Groups of employees work on one compressor at a set pace as it passes through various production stages and they have a certain degree of autonomy in how they organize their work. This change also led to a reduction in calculated standard times and therefore reduced lead times while increasing output.
The introduction of the Shopfloor Management and Ship It tools improved transparency at various points of the order processing flow. Planning details, work in progress, and interfaces are posted on information boards and status reports are reviewed daily. Traffic light labels provide an immediate overview of delivery schedule adherence, lead times and efficiency. This serves as a coordination tool during shift changes or in brief workgroupmeetings, and the given KPIs are used to target further improvement potential.
The common objective of every project is to reduce lead times, improve efficiency and ensure delivery schedule adherence while maintaining if not improving overall quality. This concurrently promotes a greater sense
of cohesion in the workforce. The most striking evidence of the success of [email protected] is the large number of projects that have already been implemented.