CHENNAI, India — A Natural Work Group (NWG) team from Ford India’s Body Shop has been chosen to compete in an international quality contest after impressing national judges by demonstrating how they significantly increased jobs per hour on the Ford Figo through greater productivity and efficiency.
NWGs are Ford India’s equivalent of Quality Circle, and there are nearly 236 NWGs in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing operations of Ford India. These groups are constantly trying to improve quality, efficiency and safety by meeting regularly to brainstorm various issues encountered in their day-to-day operations. The International Convention on Quality Circle Forum of India shortlisted the Body Closure NWG team to participate in the international level competition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from October 14- 17, based on their performance during the recent national level competition in Hyderabad.
Competing with 936 Quality Circle teams from various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from India, the seven-member ‘Shining Closure’ team, led by K. Loganathan and Sundar Raj, was hailed for its innovative thinking and efficient management of resources in the production process of the Ford Figo.
In their project, titled ‘Efficiency Improvement at Figo Door Cell,’ the team demonstrated how they had achieved better productivity and efficiency by increasing jobs per hour from 21 to 28. This was achieved by doing a detailed root-cause analysis of bottlenecks existing in the manufacturing processes.
By carrying out innovations like opting for a two-pass hemming by robots, by reducing the gear wheel dimension from 200 to 150 mm, and carrying out a clamp repositioning for better gun access, the team was able to wipe off wasted seconds in the manufacturing process and increase productivity.
“This involved key inputs and suggestions from every member of the team. We brainstormed for several hours to get the process improvements in place and then get it approved,” said K. Loganathan, manufacturing engineer. “It was both challenging as well as satisfying,” echoed R.Sundar Raj, his team leader.
The project has also saved precious man hours and costs, saving the company as much as INR 77,00,000 (USD 138,764 approximately) every year. “This is a shining example of how one team has gone further, worked hard together and has come up with the best solution possible. We wish them all success in Malaysia,” said Arthur Devadawson, general manager of Body Construction, hailing the group’s achievement.
BODY TEAMS EXCEL AT PUNE: Several NWG teams from Body Construction have bagged awards at a meet on innovation and creative automation in Pune, with more than 25 companies participating. The teams won honours for:
· Productivity Improvement by Implementing Contingency for Welding Robots, by the Framing team, which bagged third position in the ‘Sandvik Coromant Productivity Award.’
· Innovative Inspection of Spot Weld Quality with Semi Automated Pneumatic Vice, by
The Underbody team, which secured third place in the ‘Demag Safety Award.’
· Productivity improvement in door cells, by the Closure team, was awarded a special certificate under the ‘Productivity Award.’
The award-winning teams were congratulated by Ford India’s Vice President, Vehicle Operations, P. Senthil Kumar at a recent all-employee meet at the plant.
The Underbody team which bagged third position in the ‘Demag Safety Award’ being congratulated by Ford India VP, Vehicle Operations, P.Senthil Kumar.
The Framing Team which secured third position in the ‘Sandvik Coromant Productivity Award’ being congratulated by Ford India VP, Vehicle Operations, P.Senthil Kumar.