WIKA Celebrates 10 Years as a Lean Manufacturer
Product Announcement from WIKA Instrument, LP
WIKA Instrument Corporation Celebrates 10 Years as a Lean Manufacturer
Lawrenceville, GA -WIKA Instrument Corporation (WIKA) recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as a Lean manufacturing company, demonstrating WIKA's commitment and dedication to customers and continuing on a solid path for continuous improvement and quality. WIKA utilizes 5S, Kaizen, Value Stream Mapping and Six Sigma principles to continually and consistently improve productivity and eliminate waste.
Lean manufacturing is designed to maximize customer value while minimizing waste and creating more value for customers with fewer resources. WIKA understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide value to the customer through a value creation process that has zero waste.
Since WIKA conducted its first Kaizen in June 2001, the company has averaged one event per week every year. Investing over 108,000 hours and 75-80 percent of WIKA's workforce into Kaizen participation over time, WIKA has seen a 40 percent increase in productivity without an increase in labor.
WIKA has solved problems by making improvements to work areas and by eliminating waste. Waste was reduced by converting the manufacturing cell of a certain model of pressure gauges from a manual line to an automated line, saving WIKA over $100,000. Business processes were also modified. Changes were made to how WIKA conducts expedite procedures through its order entry system, starting from order entry to finished shipping.
In 2010, Kaizen events produced an approximate cost savings over a half million dollars for WIKA. Continuous improvement projections for 2011 predict Kaizen events will exceed the cost savings from 2010 events. The goal for WIKA's 2011 Kaizen events is to increase productivity improvement by 10 percent in all manufacturing work cells without sacrificing quality.
Kaizen is a practice that focuses on the continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, business processes and management. Kaizen is based on making small changes on a consistent basis and continually improving productivity and eliminating waste.
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 on a deeper level. Green Belt certified employees are experts in Six Sigma methods. WIKA Instrument Corporation is utilizing Six Sigma and Green Belt projects to lay the foundation for the next phase of the company's Lean strategy.