SHANGHAI, China — Efforts by Ford’s commercial vehicle business partner in China to improve manufacturing processes are causing others take notice.
Two creative projects designed to improve efficiency from Jiangling Motors Co., Ltd (JMC), won two top prizes at the 2012 Kaizen (meaning continuous improvement) Expo - the first platform in China that shows kaizen cases of large industrial enterprises.
Attended by more than 1,000 participants, the Expo divided the 85 cases submitted by 69 enterprises into different categories – “Efficiency and Capacity,“Teamwork” and “Popularity.”
With Masaaki Imai, the “Lean Guru” and father of Kaizen philosophy, as special guest, the judging panel awarded JMC Transit Plant’s “Increasing productivity of the gluing line” top prize for a “Mid-scale program” and JMC Assembly Plant’s “Better Workload Balancing of Interior Trim Group” the top prize for a “Large-scale Teamwork Program.” The company also won the “Popularity Award.”
Head of the judging panel, senior Lean expert Zhuang Wentao was impressed by JMC’s reports, which clearly demonstrated the methods of lean manufacturing and improvements.
“Representatives from JMC presented their cases in a confident, fluent expression, specifying the means and tools they adapted to the process. Although each of their techniques focuses on little improvement by one or two seconds, it achieved extraordinary efficiency improvement in the end,” he said.
JMC has been continuously improving its manufacturing processes to maximise efficiency with the support of Ford, which introduced many of its advanced managing systems to the Nanchang-based auto maker.
Chen Yuanqing, president of JMC, described the core value of the company as “employee-oriented.”
“Employees are encouraged to be creative in terms of improving manufacturing process. Not a single one of our Jiangling employees is doing a tedious job that repeats the same thing every day,” he said. “Building a positive, confident and motivated team is the secret of Jiangling’s success.”