Lowara Opens Its Doors to Innovation


June 23rd to 27th, Lowara hosted the "PUBLIC GEMBAKAIZEN®" 2003, a unique event held only once a year by the Kaizen Institute at the premises of a client company. Lowara, which is already implementing a KAIZEN® project, decided to organize a workshop in one of its production facilities in Montecchio Maggiore (VI), in partnership with the KAIZEN® Institute Italy.

Within Lowara, competitiveness is not regarded as a goal to be achieved once and for all; on the contrary, it represents a constantly evolving objective. Our organization has accepted this challenge, aiming at long-lasting and environmentally sustainable development.

The purpose of our training programs is to develop in our management-level personnel the know-how needed to meet the process of change with confidence and decisiveness, removing those long-consolidated negative feelings that effectively hinder the development of organizations. Lowara's internal structure, which is dedicated to continuous improvement, is also integrated on the global level with the ITT Industries group. Over the last two years, ITT Industries has been implementing an important project called "Value Based Six Sigma", based on the logic of the Six Sigma approach and suitably integrated with the methods of "Lean Manufacturing".

All this prompted us to organize this extraordinary event in collaboration with the KAIZEN Institute, opening our doors to managers from other companies, including a few of our suppliers, in order to experiment, in the course of a workweek, the process of redesigning and launching the activities of a production line.

Starting from the foundations of the KAIZEN® method, integrated within the wider context of the "VBSS" project, the VBSS group developed a system for detecting wastefulness (MUDA) within their department. After conducting the necessary analyses based on the model, the group proceeded to redefine the layout of the production line, while also establishing new process standards that enabled them to achieve the objectives (challenges) recommended by the Management and accepted by the group:

Line productivity + 30%

Occupied area - 25%

Process cycle time -50%

Scraps -50%

In actual fact, the final results were even more surprising:

Line productivity +40%

Area -40%

Process cycle time -70%

Scraps -25% (-50% projected by September 2003)

Lowara's dedication to continuous innovation and improvement has proved fruitful once again. Moreover, this incredible experience was shared with those who, seized the opportunity of personally experimenting the power of the new methods.

The comments of the participants in the Public GEMBAKAIZEN® confirm our impressions and strengthen our conviction that the only changes sought by organizations are those that produce concrete, immediate and tangible results.

Source: Xylem Inc.

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