30 Mar World Class Manufacturing – Introduction
The Manufacturing Industry has evolved enormously since the industrial revolution, from the Spinning Jenny to Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things technologies. Modern times call for modern organisations to have manufacturing practices which are lean, efficient, safe, cost-effective and flexible.
No mean feat, but the continuous improvement approach behind World Class Manufacturing (WCM) ideology can enable companies, and everyone within the company, to achieve these goals.
The Concept of “World Class”
World Class Manufacturing was developed by Fiat and partnering firms in 2005 with Hajime Yamashina, Professor Emeritus at Kyoto Universality in Japan, playing a key role. It is an approach that helps to manufacture goods of the highest quality, at low cost, with minimal resources, in a safe and efficient way.
Key to this is the “concept of zero“; WCM targets zero waste, zero defects, zero breakdowns and zero inventory. If manufacturing organisations adopt WCM methodology, and implement it correctly, they will experience improvements in transparency, communication and productivity throughout the company’s operations.
Idhammar’s WCM system encompasses the whole manufacturing facility and brings every one together in the zero challenge; but before we explore the detail of Idhammar WCM, it is important to establish what it means to be World Class in any aspect of life.
Continuous Improvement and Total Commitment
Elite athletes and sportspeople probably best encapsulate what it means to be world-class, and what it takes to get there. Let’s examine Formula 1 racing, as it satisfies the human desire to experience the power of high speed, and to push technology to its limits. F1 represents the best drivers in the world, performing in the most powerful, technically advanced cars in the world.
With the highly-visible podium champagne-spraying of F1 drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso, it’s easy to think that Formula 1 racing begins and ends with the driver. F1 racing, however, is a team effort, with more than 100 people working hard to make the season a success.
Alongside the victorious driver there are engineers, aerodynamicists, designers, software engineers, analysts, technicians, R&D specialists, coaches, accountants, buyers, document writers, and administrative support staff, all working to support and achieve the podium goals with total commitment and dedication.
A Manufacturing Evolution
The ultimate goal of being the best can never be the responsibility of just one individual; success is achieved by paying attention to every aspect of the organisation, and by each individual’s commitment to continuous improvement.
This commitment to continuous improvement is the basis for the World Class Manufacturing methodology and ideology. It is an evolution that takes every task completed to a higher level by focusing actions that will maximise benefits in terms of cost competitiveness, quality and people development. Are you ready for a Manufacturing Evolution?…
Next time…. The Fundamentals of WCM:
- The Ten Pillars of WCM
- Moving your approach from reactive, to preventative, to ultimately proactive
- What will it take for a manufacturing organisation to become World Class?