Improved shop-floor communication

About the company

MicroFinish was originally established in 1986 as a niche market supplier of Valve Guides and Valve Seat Inserts to OE and Aftermarket customers. After the volatility caused by the financial crisis, the company underwent a change in ownership and management, resulting in an overhaul of the entire business in order to optimise operational processes and ensure financial rigidity.

Despite these changes, the organisation has continued to focus on a culture of continuous improvement. In pursuit of being a world class lean manufacturing facility, the firm places significant importance on developing an inclusive approach to ability to analytically measure the quality and output to make informed decisions.

Result

Significantly improved shop-floor communication between functional areas

Executive summary

Having experienced the aftermath of the volatility in the market, MicroFinish is keenly focusing upon developing a culture of continuous improvement to ensure the firm remains stable in the future.

Challenges

Key challenges were faced with overall housekeeping and internal communication systems.

How TRACE helped

MicroFinish, whilst dedicated to develop a culture of continuous improvement found that they were not achieving overall shop-floor improvement opportunities as rapidly as desired. The participation in the TRACE Training programme provided a platform for the Supervisors and Team Leaders to:

1) Better understand 5s as a tool to address housekeeping, machine maintenance and overall inventory control on the shop-floor.

2) Significant improvement regarding shop-floor visual performance management. Senior Management noted the improved shop-floor communication, necessary for MicroFinish to continue fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Results and future plans

Lean and the development of staff within the lean context is viewed as an important way to bolster the culture of continuous improvement, build teamwork, and increase staff engagement. To this end, Senior Management have identified the need to introduce further TRACE training opportunities to develop the necessary team leaders and senior operators within their plant.

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