Kaizen project at Showa Industry.
Our 2 teams spent 5 grueling days at the Showa Tekko plant in Fukuoka. This particular plant produces all kind of equipment, from air conditions to vacuum boilers. Some of their cooling equipment is as large as a small building.
Our project was to Kaizen (Improve) their production line. They produce a certain model of air conditioner. Our task was to reduce overtime of their workers without any change in their production capacity.
We utilized Toyota Production principles as I have mentioned before. We divided our team into 2 sub teams.
We observed three different operators. First operator was involved in the assembly, second was the inspector and third operator was involved with packaging.
Our goal was to reduce the total TakTime. We started with standard flow chart and measured their timings. Caroline White was our team leader and she did a remarkable job leading our team.
We came up with some great ideas. Dr. Nunez and Ruth Hemphill suggested a U shaped module for the inspector work station which reduced his walking time significantly, my team suggested to eliminate waste (Muda) from packaging and add value to the operator’s time by assisting other colleagues.
Our patients are not cars, but on the other hand we do have a line, a line in the ER. Different patients presenting with different problems like a production line, where you may have a Camry and the next could be a Highlander.
Our goal is to have a standard work for these problems so that all operations run free of defects/medical errors and our quality remains top notch/improved survival.