Case Study 3

Previous State 2003

During a 5S Audit

Current State 2004

Post 5S & Red Tagging

Boost for Companies as Lean Manufacturing Programme delivers a winning formula.

Heinrich Georg implement Lean Practices

It’s confirmed – we really are making a difference! Over 130 people representing more than 30 companies have now completed the N4C (Network for Change) Lean Manufacturing Programme. They came from many levels within their organisations, and included Directors, Team Leaders and Supervisors.

A combination of tutorials, workshops, visits to exemplar companies, and hands-on project work has proven to be a winning formula.

The most important outcome of the programme has been the take-up of the ideas and principles of lean manufacturing by individual companies. We have real and widespread evidence that the tools & techniques are being used in earnest.

Companies have already reported that they have achieved reductions in manufacturing costs and most significantly they have also increased profits.

The progress of one of these companies, Heinrich Georg at Springfield Industrial Park, Bilston, best illustrates the success of the programme. The company employs 23 people in the manufacture and refurbishment of metal coil processing lines.

While they are unquestionably first rate engineers in their particular market, they clearly identified the need to drive out waste and unnecessary costs from their manufacture activities.

Initially, four directors and managers went through the N4C programme and immediately went ‘lean’ at Heinrich Georg. The most significant early developments was a dramatic improvement in communications right across the company, along with much better project planning and identification of common goals

Advantage was taken of a planned closure of one of their workshops to reorganise the layout of the manufacturing operations using Japanese 5S principles, while Kaizen projects have been instigated and all shop-floor personnel support these.

The need to measure and improve operating efficiencies has been identified and will become a major area for development. Managing Director Tony Richards was quite clear that his profits for the last two trading months have been greatly improved by the introduction of these changes.

He is also sure that ‘going lean’ is now a way of life for the company. As a result, other staff members are going through the programme.