Milestone celebrated by improving productivity, quality, delivery
WIKA Instrument Corporation (WIKA) recently celebrated its 300th Kaizen event. The Kaizen took on the task of improving productivity, quality and delivery, as well as updating standard work and developing data for routing purposes for the 1830 production cell. This cell produces WIKA’s 23X.30, 23X.50 and 23X.54 stainless steel 4” pressure gauges.
Kaizen’s are practices that focus on the continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, business processes and management. Kaizen’s are based on making small changes on a consistent basis and continually improving productivity and eliminating waste.
Since WIKA conducted its first Kaizen in June 2001, the company reportedly averaged one event per week for the next nine years. By investing over 96,000 hours and 70 percent of WIKA’s workforce into Kaizen participation over time, WIKA has allegedly seen a 40% increase in productivity without an increase in labor. “Reaching 300 Kaizen events is an accomplishment that solidifies WIKA’s commitment to Lean manufacturing and principals,” said Director of Continuous Improvement and Quality, Rick Reed.
WIKA has solved problems ranging from making improvements to work areas and eliminating waste, such as converting pressure gauges from a manual line to an automated line—saving WIKA approximately $141,000—to business operations and how to conduct expedite procedures through our order entry system starting in order entry and finishing in shipping. In 2010, Kaizen events reportedly produced a cost savings of approximately $600,000 for WIKA.
In 2010, WIKA took the next steps in its lean journey by introducing Six Sigma and Green Belt training to its workforce. Six Sigma is the process of identifying and removing defects and errors. Green Belt certified employees are the experts in Six Sigma methods.
WIKA Instrument Corporation
– Edited by Amanda McLeman, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com