10 plants win 2006 Shingo Prize for manufacturing excellence

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: lean manufacturing
World-Class excellence in manufacturing is the hallmark of the 10 recipients and four finalists of the 2006 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Business Recipients. American manufacturing continues to experience turbulent times in maintaining and growing manufacturing jobs.  The only business approach that has demonstrated superior achievement is Lean Enterprise Management (the Toyota Production System), the foundation of the Shingo Prize. All 14 companies to be recognized in 2006 have clearly achieved exemplary lean manufacturing excellence.

Dubbed the “Nobel prize of Manufacturing” by Business Week in 2000, the Shingo Prize is recognized at the premier manufacturing award in North America. “The 2006 recipients have demonstrated the aim to control their destiny though lean manufacturing and business processes,” said Ross Robson, Shingo Prize executive director. “The 2006 conference and award ceremony will highlight how lean delivers global competitiveness and will control a company’s destiny to be cost competitive.”

The Shingo Prize continues to grow with the adoption of the Public Sector Shingo Prize with a 120 percent increase in 2006 applicants.  In addition, over 25 states in the U.S. and Mexico are conducting “State-Level” Shingo Prize programs. The aim of the Shingo Prize is to find and eliminate all non-value added activity that negatively impacts profitability and/or tax utilization. 

This year’s Shingo Prize recipients are:

Aspect Medical Systems, Newton, Mass.Aspect Medical Systems’ mission is to improve people’s lives by helping health care professionals deliver the best possible patient care through innovative brain monitoring technologies. The company’s core product, BIS technology, measures the effect of anesthetics and sedatives on the brain. The Aspect team is fully committed to operational excellence and the application of lean techniques throughout the organization. Product cost of goods has been reduced by more than 50 percent on products that generate greater than 70 percent of revenue, rework rates have improved by 81 percent, scrap has been reduced by 37 percent, and customer service measures have improved by 80 percent. These outstanding results reflect our employee’s commitment to excellence and have played a key role in Aspect’s success during a period of strong growth.

Autoliv Promontory Facility, Promontory, Utah – This plant produces more igniter material and gas generant for automotive applications annually than any other pyrotechnic facility in the world. This material is used in the manufacture of driver, passenger, side-impact, and side-curtain airbags for the North American, European, and Asian markets. Utilizing the Autoliv Production System, the facility has reduced process lead time by 69 percent, reduced customer ppm to zero, increased production efficiency to 99 percent, reduced inventory by 68 percent, reduced overhead by 38 percent and improved LMPU by 45 percent. The facility is certified to TS 16949 and ISO 14001. Employees at the facility have implemented a record number of continuous improvement suggestions.

Delphi Electronics & Safety, Milwaukee, Wis. This plant is a high-quality supplier of automotive electronics including Engine Control Units (ECU) and Truck Body Controllers (TBC). With an engaged workforce focusing on lean principles, Milwaukee plant employees have helped improve customer satisfaction by reducing customer returns by 65 percent, improving First Time Quality by 17 percent, improving inventory turns by 18 percent and reducing scrap by 48 percent. In 2003, the plant received the Excellence Achievement Award from the National Safety Council for its health and safety practices. Customers like Toyota also recognized the facility in 2004 with the Global Contribution Award. Using the Delphi Manufacturing System and other lean practices, employees continue on their lean journey towards manufacturing excellence.

Delphi Productos Delco de Chihuahua (Plant 58), Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico – Plant 58 is a Delphi Energy and Chassis facility, a division of Delphi Corp. Since initiating operations in 1990, the Delphi Manufacturing System has guided the team of more than 500 employees to reach its goals on a lean journey. The team sought to become a world-class lean manufacturing plant by staying focused on a set of core activities, including cost reduction, quality improvement, constant growth, improved process speed, and valuing and improving people. The team’s achievements include 100 percent on-time delivery since 2001, 80 percent reduction in customer complaints, 70% improvement in First Time Quality, 86 percent improvement on premium freight cost and a safety record of five years without a lost work day. The Productos Delco team will continue to make improvements aimed at exceeding customer expectations in the future.

Delphi, Queretaro, MexicoAs part of Delphi Steering, a division of Delphi Corp., Plant 65 is a 176,981 square-feet facility with 233 employees. Opening in 1996, it specializes in manufacturing automotive components such as Rack & Pinion Gears which help provide directional control, road feedback, and stability for the driver. In the last two years, employees have achieved 100 percent on-time delivery and a safety record of zero lost work days. In addition, there has been a 43 percent improvement in First Time Quality, 62 percent reduction in customer complaints and a 100 percent improvement on delivering premium freight. Additionally, scrap has been reduced by 49 percent. Employee empowerment and strong leadership has led Plant 65 to achieve these important milestones and for employees to continue their lean journey towards excellence.

Delphi Steering Systems, Alambrados y Circuitos Electricos IX (ACE IX) Plant 66, Queretaro, MexicoPlant 66 is part of Delphi Steering, a division of Delphi Corp. It is an 83,000 square-feet facility that focuses on manufacturing steering columns, halfshafts, and intermediate shafts for various automotive customers. Assembling more than 1.4 million finished goods a year, 242 employees work hard to exceed customer expectations. With a focus on quality and safety and community service, Plant 66 employees achieved 100 percent on-time delivery, a 56 percent improvement on inventory turns, a 50 percent reduction in downtime in machining areas, and had zero quality spills from 2001 to 2005. Employees submit ideas for cost savings and improvements and see their improvements implemented on the plant floor. The team’s passion for excellence has led them to continuous improvement through their lean journey.

dj Orthopedics, Inc., Vista, Calif.dj Orthopedics is a global medical device company specializing in rehabilitation and regeneration products for the non-operative orthopedic and spine markets. dj Ortho’s Vista manufacturing facility produces its flagship DonJoy Defiance knee braces and FDA approved bone growth regeneration devices. dj Orthopedics’ company-wide “lean journey” began in early 2000 and since then, the company’s safety incident rate has improved by 53 percent, customer complaints have fallen by 94 percent, and order-to-shipment lead time has been reduced by 66 percent. Additionally, new product development lead time has been reduced by over 50 percent while doubling the number of new products launched each year. In the office, insurance billing and collecting process lead times have fallen by an average of over 40 percent.

Methode Mexico, Apodaca, Mexico This facility manufactures the weight sensor bladder product, which is a component of a Passenger Occupant Detection System designed to reduce airbag induced injuries. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 mandates that all passenger cars and light trucks produced after September 1, 2006, will have advanced frontal air bags for occupant protection. The plant has four years in operation and has embraced lean manufacturing tools for two years. During this time the plant has achieved substantial improvements in quality, cost and delivery, such as: 100 percent on-time delivery, 99 percent reduction in customer PPMs, 31 percent uptime improvement, 76 percent scrap reduction, 61 percent turnover reduction and 81 percent inventory cost reduction. Also, parts produced per person have increased by 130 percent, current OEE level is at 83 percent, and are now 103 percent more flexible due to quick changeover and small lot production.

Steelcase Inc., City of Industry, Calif.Steelcase is the largest supplier of contract office furniture in the world. Product lines include panels, storage units, desks, and seating. In 2000, its City of Industry, Calif., plant had a unique opportunity to implement lean principles when they moved from a 1-million-square-foot manufacturing plant to a new 450,000-square-foot facility. Some of the dramatic results include: reducing cycle time between raw materials and finished goods from 6-8 days to less than 3.5 hours, improving raw material turns by more than 250 percent, and reducing floor space for finished goods shipping by over 85 percent.

TI Automotive, Mexico City, MexicoWith a heritage of almost a century in the auto industry, TI Automotive continues as an industry leader in the production of innovative fluid carrying systems for fuel, braking, and powertrain applications to automakers worldwide. Through talented leadership, empowered associates along with Common Sense Manufacturing principles (a passionate belief that there is always a better and simpler way), TI Automotive – Mexico City Plant has significantly improved its performance: PPM below 16 in the last five years, a 38.75 percent inventory turns improvement in the last year, and significant improvements in manufacturing profit and financial performance.


Finalists, scoring close to recipient status, include Freudengerg-NOK, Components Plant, Bristol, N.H.; John Deere, Power Products, Greeneville, Tenn.; Rockwell Collins, Coralville Operations, Coralville, Iowa; and Scotsman Ice Systems, Fairfax Operation, Fairfax, S.C. “Each of these plants are also outstanding in their lean manufacturing processes,” according to Robson.

The Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing, for manufacturers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is administered by the College of Business, Utah State University. Awards for the Recipients and Finalists will be presented at the 18th Annual Shingo Prize Conference and Awards Ceremony to be held April 6, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky. Speakers will include Paul O’Neill, former Secretary, U.S. Treasury and former chair and CEO, Alcoa; Herb Spivak, executive VP, New Balance Athletic Shoes; Dan Ariens, president and CEO, Ariens Company; Norman Bodek, president, PCS, Inc.; and Pascal Dennis, principal, Lean Productivity Systems, among others. For more information, visit www.shingoprize.org.

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