Four tiers of growth in Lean journey

Manufacturer builds daily management into continuous improvement process.

11/11/2014


Show floor at the 2014 Association for Manufacturing Excellence conference in Jacksonville, Fla. Courtesy: Bob Vavra, Plant Engineering.Even after almost two decades on a journey to build a Lean manufacturing operation, Seattle area-based Terex Aerial Work Platform is still learning about how to turn the knowledge they’ve gained into operational improvements.

That was the message from Dan Munko, the senior director of operations for Terex Aerial WorkPlatforms, at the 2014 Association for Manufacturing Excellence conference in Jacksonville, Fla. Munko noted in his session that a daily management system is vital to turning Lean-generated knowledge into continuous improvement.

"If you’re trying to get a Lean enterprise, what are you trying to do? You’re trying to get just what you need when you need it, and all the processes are connected," Munko said. "What happens when material is not there, or when someone calls in sick? Then we’re running around fighting fires. Lean is designed to make problems visible. But we have to be really, really good at fixing problems, and that’s where daily management comes in."

By instituting a four-tier process to identify, discuss and correct plant-floor issues, Terex put its focus not just on the problems, but on how those problems and solutions aligned with the larger company plan. The four tiers allowed issues to be identified and correct at the team level before escalating up the process.

But it required a change in style as much as in substance. "We have to lead differently. I can’t lead the same way I’ve been leading," Munko said. "We’ve got to commit to ongoing training and coaching."

It also started by making sure all manufacturing team members were aligned with the five core metrics at Terex: Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost and Morale.

In Tier 1, a meeting at the start of each shift with team members was held to review issues based on daily metrics. "The idea is to focus on abnormalities. We have a tendency to talk about everything that’s going on, to talk about all the good things we did," Munko said. "When running a production system, only look at things that are abnormal. It’s OK to put red on the board. That’s an opportunity to get better. If we’re not getting better, we’re going backwards."

In Tier 2, a meeting is held 30 minutes after the start of the shift to look at monthly metrics, and to look at that data against four benchmarks:

  • Identify abnormality
  • Understand problem
  • Assign action
  • Check status of action

Munko said the Tier 3 efforts involved the value stream manager for Lean who would bring the disparate teams (safety, quality, engineering, etc.) together to  solve continuing issues and to align the teams on that problem-solving mission. He said the goal was to visualize gaps in the system, drive team problem-solving and to improve the overall business. While the first two Tiers were involved with singular processes, Tier 3 was the first place where the overall business goals were being addressed in the problem-solving process.

Tier 4 was a weekly meeting that involved plant and operations management. "This is something we added to the Tier 4 meeting. We need to make sure we are working to plan and working to amend our improvement plan," Munko said. "I’ve got to continually check, and to imbed that check into my management system."

Besides the four action areas that are part of Tier 2, a fifth is added to check the actions against the overall business plan. "It involves a deeper dive into plan vs. actual," Munko said. "We’re looking for leadership behavior change. We’re trying to focus on the process. We’re driving compliance with the process."

Continuous improvement, Munko noted, is not just an issue of training and coaching, but of making that training produce measurable results. "We can’t just do training in a conference room and say we’re good. We have to continue training on the shop floor," Munko said. "We’ve got to get out of meetings and get out on the shop floor. We’re going to designate time for meetings, but they’ve got to me more focused."



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
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.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me