Shingijutsu Kaizen Event at Qualitrol

Background: Kaizen and Shingijutsu Kaizen

Kaizen, a principle deeply embedded in Qualitrol’s business philosophy, is centered on the concept of “continuous improvement.” It encourages individuals to adopt an endlessly inquisitive perspective in problem-solving and root cause analysis.

Qualitrol’s Season of Growth

Qualitrol is experiencing a powerful season of growth, with a strong incoming order rate and an increasing demand for their products. To address this, the company organized a Shingijutsu Kaizen event featuring world-class benchmarking from veterans of the Toyota Production system and Qualitrol’s parent company Fortive aimed at improving the capacity of three key production areas.

Reorganized production cell after Kaizen event

The Kaizen Event: Goals and Execution

During the second week of April, Qualitrol assembled cross-functional teams from every department and level of the organization to focus on the Fortive Business Systems (FBS) Lean Conversion process. Through the use of FBS tools, careful pre-work, and insights from operators, the teams executed a one-week intensive overhaul of the three targeted production areas and greatly increased production capacity. The improvements put Qualitrol in a better position to meet their customers’ OTD and Quality needs.

Empowering Operators and the Gemba Approach

Empowering operators at Gemba, the location where work takes place, led to stronger processes and better results. The team employed various 8-waste exercises, full-size cardboard cutouts for rapid prototyping and trystorming, fishbone diagrams for granular understanding of assembly steps, and examined all assumptions to drive exploration of physical layout improvements.

Redesigning Production Cells

The redesigned U-shaped production cells feature clear and consolidated walking paths through each operation, promoting better workflow. Furthermore, the revamped space allowed materials to be loaded from the back of the cell, preventing cluttered workbenches and interruptions in production.

Participants and Leadership

Spearheaded by our company President Andrew McCauley and facilitated with the help of Operations VP Sally Creasy, this event achieved results due to support from the entire Qualitrol team. Participants included all VP leadership, administrative staff, IT personnel, Maintenance, and key leaders of each functional department from Finance to R&D in collaboration with station operators. Parth Patel (Director of Operations), Lindsay Goggins (Value Stream Leader), and Pat Nelson (Value Stream Leader) led our three individual event teams.

Shingitjutsu Kaizen Team

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