Special AWARD – Lean Transformation

Witzenmann Group, plant Troy MI, USA

Statement of the jury

The transformation of Witzenmann USA LLC, a subsidiary of the international Witzenmann Group, was successful. At the plant in Troy, USA, a culture of continuous improvement has been created through the consistent and sustainable implementation of lean production and is thus back on track for success.

The plant has grown continuously over the years and has been expanded to provide the necessary capacity. In parallel with the ambitious growth, however, negative side effects arose from the rapid growth, which led to declining efficiency.

In cooperation with the central lean department of the headquarters, Witzenmann USA developed a concept for lean orientation that consisted of 14 modules.

Congestion management enabled them to switch from reacting to acting and to focus on a consistent reduction of waste. In addition to improving maintenance and increasing technical plant availability, optimized production logistics, production planning and control as well as line balancing cells, the focus was on building up a qualified workforce as well as lean leadership and shopfloor management.

The KPI dashboard is impressive: In addition to high adherence to delivery dates, satisfied customers, significantly increased productivity, and reduced scrap costs, employee turnover has been greatly reduced, unbudgeted overtime has been more than halved and the work week has been reduced from 7 to 5,5 days.

Was the project a flash in the pan or was it possible to achieve a sustainable lean transformation? Because they were able to convince the jury, the latter is the case. Two years after the official end of the project, the most important KPIs have continued to improve. We are convinced that the plant and its dedicated management team will continue to satisfy its customers and internal shareholders by consistently applying the WPS (Witzenmann Production System) even in these volatile times.

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