TWI: harness the power of collaborative standard work to boost lean effectiveness

Training Within Industry (TWI) is a crucial element in lean, continuous improvement and Toyota Production System (TPS) success. Companies can achieve high level competitiveness by consistently embedding TWI throughout operations.

09/26/2014


The road to successful lean implementation can be rocky: the lack of standardized work practices, miscommunication and patchy results weaken or sink many initiatives. Thanks to the powerful structure and positive, collaborative work environment created through Training Within Industry (TWI) programs, organizations can create a solid foundation for today's continuing lean improvements and capabilities for future progress. Simply put, TWI is a crucial element in lean, continuous improvement and Toyota Production System (TPS) success.

A brief recap for lean practitioners who may not be aware of TWI's solid, proven track record in the United States: introduced during World War II as a suite of programs supporting efficient production (later largely ignored in this country for several decades), TWI is now gaining broader acceptance in U.S. manufacturing. TWI practitioners learn how to effectively and rapidly train employees about establishing and maintaining standardized work practices, develop improved methods, solve and prevent problems, nurture positive work relations and implement/maintain a safe work environment.

Competitive advantage ranks high on the list of benefits your company will achieve by consistently embedding TWI throughout operations. Your employees will learn to leverage lean learning through cooperative, standardized practices, gaining day-by-day cost, quality and service improvements.

TWI Elements Include:

- Job Instruction (JI): Train supervisors how to rapidly give people the skills needed for successfully doing their job - safely, correctly and consistently. Create a standard "best way" for performing needed tasks, replacing the various methods employed by different workers in a typical plant. As you strengthen performance capabilities through stabilized practices, you are also building a foundation for future continuous improvement. Manufacturing processes benefit from this approach, also adapted for offices, hospitals and other environments.

- Job Methods (JM): Improve how jobs are done, as operators and first-line supervisors enhance their skills. They learn to objectively evaluate the efficiency of their job performance, reviewing each step to determine whether it is the best way. Process steps can be modified, added, rearranged or eliminated. Criteria for these modifications include quality, safety, cost etc.

- Job Relations (JR): A key TWI element, JR provides information about developing fair and positive work relations. Related skills enable supervisors to encourage cooperative teaming, effective problem solving and conflict resolution. JR practitioners learn how to get the facts, evaluate options, take needed action and gauge results. The TWI Institute, which offers detailed information about TWI practices, suggests that introducing JR concepts is an effective way to handle many issues arising during a continuous improvement transition. "Job Relations training teaches supervisors how to handle problems, how to prevent them from occurring, and, most importantly, it aids in developing a logical, commonsense approach to handling issues with a people-centric view," according to the TWI Institute. Union job relations are addressed in a complementary program that builds positive relationships between union leadership and employees.

- Job Safety: Train supervisors how to engage employees in environmental, health and safety best practices. This program, created in Japan after the original TWI launch in the United States, is now a key element in industry improvement practices.

- Problem Solving: Equip supervisors to take initiative for solving problems through a process using all of the TWI "J" programs instead of wasting time/effort by asking others to take action. Gain more value from supervisors as they develop greater capabilities for handling day-to-day issues.

More Benefits

Your company can decrease training time, build employee engagement/retention and pave the way for new products/services as employees boost their performance through TWI practices. As you're helping your organization's lean system sustainably thrive, you're creating market leadership by delivering more of what your customers want.

Paul Kuchuris is the president of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME).

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) mission is to inspire commitment to enterprise excellence through experiential learning by bringing people together to share, learn and grow. Its "Strategic Success through People-powered Excellence" annual conference, featuring sessions on lean implementation, TWI, innovation, leadership and other timely topics, will be held in Jacksonville, FL November 10-14. AME is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media, jchang(at)cfemedia.com



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me