Answers to your questions ~The key to cost reduction~

Q

How to make creative idea proposal stay alive and active?
Mature organizations find challenging to sustain interest.

A

  • Each employee and his/her boss have a meeting based on the internal “interview system” and discuss to set the individual annual goal at the beginning of the year.
  • Employees who proposed 36 or more improvement cases/year can receive the internal award called “Punch hit award”.
  • Employees can receive prize money that varies depending on the improvement contents, and about top 5 proposals among the proposals with a prize of 10,000 yen or more are selected, and those selected proposers can have a presentation at the department committee (factory) and receive the additional prize money.
  • Gold, silver, and bronze prizes are awarded to the top prize winners of the year, and the gold award winners are eligible for dinner with the company’s top executives, commemorative photos, publication in the company newsletter, and nomination for the Minister award of Science and Technology Agency etc.
  • *All proposals do not mean just improvement ideas, but improvement cases that employees have already implemented.

    Q

    How does Heijunka applies to Injection line? More purging material required to start new part number.

    A

  • TOYOTA’s in-house products are large parts such as bumpers, instrument panels, and intake manifolds, and they are manufactured by exclusive line. Product types are handled by additional processing (hole drilling, mounting other parts, coating) in the post-process.
  • Basically, large part injection molding machines do not implement changeover according to the product types. However, we do not know the recent and latest situation.
  • Q

    In the example of motion reduction, the trays are reduced in order to reduce the motion of the assembly operator. But this will cause an increase of motion in order to refill the trays. In your example how you balance the reduction/increase of motion?

    A

  • In a case of a main line, it is incorporated as part of the work of the worker who supplies the parts to each process of the line. (Capacity of trays will be according to the supply frequency)
  • In a case of a sub-line, they are supplied by part number using parts feeder etc.
  • In the case of the smaller scale, we do not reduce the capacity of trays by halving the width of the trays and doubling their length etc.
  • Q

    What does the company do with the extra manpower?

    A

    We deal with the extra manpower as following:
    1. Work in another busy workplace
    2. Work in new workplaces for new products
    3. Utilize them instead of replenishing retired employees
    4. Work in the improvement organization and implement improvement activities, etc.

    Q

    How do you quantify the saving in term of $ from the Kaizen? Is it via manual/offline calculation or it is being capruted in the actual A/C? If it is via manual calculation who will verify the saving achieved?

    A

    The calculation methods of the improvement effect amount in the case example I talked in the web seminar are as follows.
    1. Manpower saving: Monthly salary of reduced personnel x number of months of evaluation period
    2. Space saving: Monthly sales amount when a new product is produced in the saved space x evaluation period
    3. Productivity improvement: Monthly amount of increased sales amount by productivity improvement x evaluation period

    Q

    How to implement one-piece-flow when the characteristics of production is continuous process such as in pharmaceutical industry?

    A

    “One” for the one piece flow production is not necessarily one piece, but can be one tray, one case, or one pallet. Please think about manufacturing that flows in the smallest possible unit.
    It may be difficult to introduce the one piece flow production in the upstream processes in pharmaceutical industry, but I think it can be introduced in the packaging, packing, and shipping processes in the downstream processes.

    Consultants from major companies
    with experience in over 40 countries will respond.
    Please feel free to contact us.

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