Lean projects competition in machine building goes to the inter-sector level

On July 25-26 as part of the second international young industrialists forum Engineers of the Future 2012, OBORONPROM corporate university together with the department for developing production systems of UEC and the directorate for the development of production systems at Sukhoi organized a lean projects competition. All companies have experience in holding internal corporate competitions, but this was the first inter-sector competition.

The goal of the competition was to determine the best scenarios for transforming the activities of companies in the machine building sector by applying a planned approach and lean tools, as well as sharing experience between different companies in the corporation.

The competition received 16 projects from eight companies, including: The Irkutsk Aviation Plant, an affiliate of the Irkut corporation, Avtovaz, the Ufa Engine Industrial Association, Klimov, Perm Engine Company, the Chernyshev Moscow Machine Building Enterprise, NPO Saturn, Salyut gas turbines, and the Ulan Ude Aviation Plant.

The subjects of the projects were very diverse and encompassed different types of activities — from office processes to the restructuring of production, and demonstrated the universality and practicality of lean methodology.

The competition committee was composed of lean managers from companies in the aviation and engine building sectors.

The projects were evaluated on parameters of ‘implementability’ and ‘economic savings’, allowing the comparison only of projects which were at a similar level of implementation. Evaluation was carried out in the following categories: Potential Projects, Projects with Economic Effect, Best Innovative Project and Best Universal Project. First of all, the competition committee rated the level of implementation, the attainment of the stated goals, the strengthening of the project results, and the systematic approach or in other words, the feasibility of combining various lean production tools. The competition committee also looked at the project’s economic effect (taking into account the period of investment buy-back). A great deal of attention in evaluating the projects was paid to the innovation of the project and the potential for extrapolation (applying it to a variety of platforms). Attraction of staff to the project was also considered in rating its competitiveness. The potential to clearly structure the material and present it well to the target audience was another criterion — project presentation.

The structure of all the projects was assigned at the stage of selection and included four main stages: preparation, analyzing problems in the unit, planning transformation, implementing and securing. The competition final included the winners of the selection round.

Based on the results of the competition, the committee named the winners The Best Transformation Projects

Best Project with Economic Effect — Transformation of the ventilator blade production unit. The project was presented by Maksim Yevgenevich Balashov, Perm Engine Company. This project demonstrated that as a result of reducing the batch size, it is possible to reduce the volume of work in progress and free up more than 14 million rubles of associated funds. Optimizing the batch size from 33 to 7 units not only brought savings, but also allowed the balancing of capacity and reduced the production cycle from 64 to 44 days, increasing the rhythm of ventilator blade production for the finished assembly.

Best Innovative Project — Creating Kaizen systems was presented by Nikolai Valerevich Bondarev, Irkutsk Aviation Plant, an affiliate of the Irkut Corporation. This project presented a systematic approach to activities based on continuous improvement — the Kaizen proposal including ‘transparent’ systems of motivation and long-term informativity of staff at the company about the results achieved.

The company has developed and implemented into industrial operation a unified automated system of management of suggestions to improve operational processes, intended to build effective systems of selecting and developing suggestions from employees. This is a kind of knowledge database, that everyone can use and from which anyone can select ready solutions. This way, as a result of work to use the Kaizen suggestion system has attracted more than 2,000 people or more than 15% of the total number of company employees (with a target of 1,000). More than 5,000 suggestions have been made (with a planned total of 1,500). The average level of implementation of Kaizen suggestions has grown from 36% (2009) to 62% (2011) of the total received suggestions.

Best Universal Project- Increasing the production capacity of the inspection unit at Perm Engine Company, presented by Yuliya Sergeevna Bondarenko. The implementation of this project envisages: unifying processes of disassembling, inspecting, and washing aviation and terrestrial products in a single production unit in one space, which would fulfil the functions of a single-step disassembly and inspection unit, and thereby eliminate the need for these functions in the machine workshops. This would allow the increase of throughput capacity for inspection from five to 12 parts per month and reduce the production cycle of disassembly and inspection to 10 working days.

Best Potential Project — Increasing the production capacity of the central control of compressor blades at NPO Saturn, demonstrated by Olga Ivanova Rudakova. This project was initiated as part of the second corporate lean school (March 2012, Rybinsk) and is one of a number of projects aiming to bring up production capacity of the SaM-146 engine for the SSJ-100 aircraft from two to eight units per month. In the course of preparing this project, they carried out a similar analysis of the throughput capacity of the control unit. As a result, the most significant factor in this problem was the loss of time due to repeated part inspection at control, as well as insufficient recovery rate in the measurement system (R&R) for controllers and finishers, suggesting insufficient depth of understanding of defects. To solve this problem they developed corrective measures. With the aim of improving the responsibility of finishers for quality, they changed the wage system — the cost of one blade now depends not on the number of parts and assembled units, but on the number of times it is returned to be revised. This measure helps improve morale, reduce the number of revisions, and reduce the production cycle time. Acquiring a surface analyzer for the control unit allows them to significantly improve the measurement system, reduce expenses on controller personnel, and lower demands on number of staff.

Incentive prizes were awarded to Potential Transformation Leaders — those participants whose projects did not gather the same number of points as the leaders under the conditions of fierce competition, but fell within the competition framework:

  1. Aleksandr Yurevich Shelochkov — Reconstructing the lighting of the assembly unit, Ufa Engine Industrial Association
  2. Andrey Mikhailovich Yegorov — Organizing work to transform the production systems at machine assembly workshop 6 at the Boehringer equipment, Chernyshev Moscow Machine building Enterprise
  3. Olesa Petrovna Stepanova— Lean management in the office, Irkutsk Aviation Plant, Irkut Corporation
  4. Tatyana Yurevna Roslova — Increasing efficiency of the MOTs unit, NPO Saturn.