News

Found in: The Korridor


4.27.2011

Improved Manufacturing Processes…Increased Customer Value


For decades U.S. manufacturing has heard of the continuous improvement strategy developed by Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo for Toyota called “The Toyota Production System”. The Toyota production system was designed as a continuous improvement long term strategy that aligns every process in the business to deliver ever increasing value to the customer.

The word Kaizen is Japanese for improvement but the more specific translation is continuous improvement. The Kaizen is an intensive and focused approach to Total Process Improvement. The Kaizen event combines multiple tools from the overall production systems including: 5S, SMED (single minute exchange of dies or quick change overs), pull systems and kan bans, process or lines balancing and kaizen events.  Each tool in a given production system is designed to be deployed during a Kaizen event to help empower teams to brainstorm, problem solve, standardize processes and rapidly take action to improve the quality and process they operate each day.  The Kaizen event begins with identifying a problem or more accurately with the recognition that a problem exists. The idea behind the Kaizen is that where a problem exists there is potential for improvement and the people that do the job know it best.  The goal is to create a new level of consistency in manufacturing processes and standardize them, using the Kaizen Event as the vehicle to drive the changes that add value tor customers.

Atkore has recently begun using the Kaizen Event to affect real change in its process and add value for its customers.  In the same pioneering spirit that has made Atkore a world leader in the manufacture of tube, pipe and electrical conduit, we are now stepping out and developing our own “Atkore Production System”. Atkore is redefining how it involves its most valuable asset, its people, to improve the organization’s flexibility and delivery to its customers. The Kaizen as well as the overall philosophy behind the Atkore Production System starts and ends with empowering and involving our valued team members to solve issues, continuously improve the processes and give our teams the tools they need to be successful every-day.





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