The journey of the Tubacex Production System (TxPS) began at Tubacex India in November 2015, and has made steady progress since then. The company is currently focusing on 5S & Safety, Radical improvements, SMED and SCRA, among other processes in its philosophy of continuous improvement, gradually moving forward in the implementation process, with productivity indicators and OEE monitored daily.
Besides this, the company has adopted Daily Work Management (DWM) as a key tool for visibility and predictability in routine operation. All sections of shop floor operations have their own shift meetings to discuss their daily priorities, performances and issues related to quality, productivity, safety and Kaizen. This is a platform where communication involves all employees and brings greater visibility to their current performance with respect to targets.
One outcome of DWM is Kaizen activities to resolve shop floor issues, by encouraging all employees to share their ideas. Tubacex India revised its Kaizen scheme in June 2017 in order to implement small improvements on a sustainable basis, with many visible results, such as the increase in employee participation, improved productivity, reduction in equipment failure, a better workplace environment, etc. These Kaizens are evaluated each quarter and the employees are rewarded for the best ones.
In order to systematically resolve abrupt problems, the SCRA (Symptom, Cause, Remedy, Action) tool is being used extensively throughout the plant, with strong commitment by the team and positive results.
In the 5S implementation process, the whole plant is divided into areas and sub-areas, assigning a zone leader for each area. Hot milling has been selected as the pilot area and all shop managers along with working team have made personal observations and tagged all areas requiring improvement. To monitor and sustain improvements, monthly 5S audits are conducted by managers in every zone.
An initial step towards autonomous maintenance (TPM) has been made in recent months by introducing the Model Machine concept in which all engineers and managers voluntarily clean a selected machine and tag abnormalities on alternate days.
Two radical improvement projects have been selected this year:
- Installation of induction heater for billet heating. This will result in savings of 300,000 Euro/annum and is expected to increase OEE.
- A SMED project has been initiated for tool change on Pilgers. The target is to reduce changeover time from 20 hours to 4 hours.
Assuming the role of a TxPS coordinator during my early years in industry has provided me
with a great learning experience, which I will be using to implement Lean tools like Value Stream Mapping,
SMED, FMEA etc. in Tubacex India in order to help the organization to introduce productivity improvements,
greater flexibility (for changeover) and improved product quality.
P. Nagasiva, B. Tech (Mech)