This week we speak to another one of our Fantastic Five TIC UK finalists who are helping to ‘clean up’ quality issues on the Press line and play their part in our Refocus transformation.
The Improvers; also known as Karl Miller, Jason Martin, Ged McGinty and Naithan Brown- from Stampings Group, have set up a new cleaning system which is saving associates time whilst carrying out Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) work, as well as making the process itself safer.
The team were also selected as one of five Halewood circles which represented the plant at last week’s TIC Final UK Recognition Activities, in Eastnor.
Karl Miller, The Improvers circle leader, explains: “As part of our TIC theme, we created a dedicated storage facility known as ‘The Cube’ which contains up to 1,000 litres of pre-diluted cleaning solution, which is used to wipe down the work areas.
“Before The Cube, there was no dedicated storage place for the cleaning solution, it was often hard to find where people had put it from the previous shift and as it was neat, it needed to be diluted.
Karl added: “Most people didn’t have the knowledge about how many parts of water were needed to make up the right amount of solution, so this resulted in a lot of waste.
“To dilute it, they also needed access to a sink to mix it, so would end up transporting it to the nearest toilet or rest area, which could result in spillages and potential trip hazards. They were also putting themselves at risk by handling a neat chemical.”
As well as improving the safety of the TMP process, the team explained how the idea has also driven efficiency and cost savings on the line.
Jason Miller said: “It’s given people back the gift of time, as no one knew where the cleaning solution was stored before and could end up spending twenty minutes setting up before they had even started on the TMP, which was taking them away from the line.”
“Making pre-diluted solution also comes with a cost saving for the business as we have cut back on so much waste. The amount we were getting through a year, just in our area alone, could have filled up a full petrol tanker- that’s the equivalent of 40,000 litres- which is unbelievable.”
Talking about taking part in TIC, Naithan Brown, said: “TIC allowed us to take a simple idea to the next level and give us the skills and confidence to make a real difference to our teammates’ working lives and improve the standard of their areas.”
The Improvers also set up Safety Academies as part of their TIC journeys where they trained associates about the hazards of handling chemicals and the correct processes involved.
Naithan added: “It took us out of our comfort zones, but we have had great feedback as it has made TPM releases easier for associates as they know where to find everything now, so it’s much more efficient.”
Ged McGinty, said: “Getting involved in TIC makes you think about your personal contribution to transformation, which is what Refocus is all about- committing to quality through small, continuous improvements. Now other parts of Stampings Group are looking at using the The Cube which shows the impact a simple idea can have.”
Asked what advise he would give to other employees considering taking part in the next Team Improvement Circle cycle for 2021/22, Ged said: “Before TIC, I couldn’t switch a computer on and now I am doing presentations- it breaks down barriers and gets you to work with people you wouldn’t normally get the chance to - grab the opportunity with both hands.”
Getting involved in continuous improvement through TIC is a key way that employees can play their part in Refocus transformation, which is our number one priority in Manufacturing.
Refocus is helping us to transform the way operate to improve our quality, sustainability, and the profitability of our vehicles. This will ensure Halewood is in the strongest position to successfully rollout the electric architectures earmarked for our plant as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Reimagine strategy.