BIG Lean For BIG Products


Industry: Automotive – Heavy Plant

Core Processes: Forging and machining

Core Products: Crankshafts

Situational Overview

Traditional engineering culture,
Highly unionised,
Skilled workforce resisting standardisation,
History of massive redundancies,
Suspicion of management,
Massive cost pressure from group,
Large potential for growth in product market.


Lean Line Design Workshop

  • New product line development
  • Dramatic increase in volume
  • £10 Million Capex turned down
  • Need to develop line for next year’s volumes with minimum investment
  • Used Lean manufacturing tools and techniques to design line and equipment requirements
  • Developed a line capable of achieving volumes with only £650,000 investment.
  • Investment successfully signed off by the board

JIT Manufacturing Workshop

  • Current product
  • Teamwork and IR issues tackled
  • Standardisation and timing issues tackled using man/machine charts and involvement
  • Developed zero changeover line with mixed model sequencing
  • Dramatic lead time reduction

Kaizen Team Development and Coaching

  • Group-wide roll out strategy developed
  • Improvement process developed
  • Sustainability structure developed
  • Steering structure developed
  • Workshop facilitation training completed