TRACC-driven DuPont Production System yields global excellence award for Chinese plant
Although DuPont China’s Shenzhen plant had significant exposure to Lean and Six Sigma initiatives previously, several challenges still existed. It was only after the introduction of the DuPont Production System (powered by TRACC) that it was able to apply these CI tools systematically to enable sustainable improvements. The subsequent results culminated in the plant being awarded the Global DPS Excellence Award that recognizes outstanding progress in advancing CI practices and sustained performance improvement.
- US$8.1 million hard savings on improvement projects
- 75% improvement in equipment downtime
- 40% improvement in operator turnover rate
- Increased point kaizen rate on the shop floor from less than 0.1 pcs/person/year to 9.2 pcs/person/year
Before the introduction of the DuPont Production System (powered by TRACC) in 2009, the Shenzhen site had significant experience with Lean and Six Sigma. Yet several challenges still existed, including:
- Lack of shop floor engagement and empowerment
- High operator turnover rate
- Nonalignment between functions
- Lack of competencies among shift-based team (SBT) leaders so middle management had to do most of the problem-solving
“The Shenzhen site has set a great example for other global DuPont sites to follow by demonstrating an effective and
integrated approach to advancing the TRACC practice; a strong commitment to build the DPS culture; and enhancing business performance.” – Matthew C. Koenings, Vice President: Safety, Health, Environment, and Operations Excellence
The challenge was to realize the DPS vision of ‘‘Everyone, every day in pursuit of operations excellence, enabling DuPont to win in a dynamic world’’. The DPS principles include:
- Operating a lean, integrated end-to-end supply chain from suppliers to customers
- Maintaining standard processes and systems
- Promoting enabling technologies, tools and processes
- Each individual accepting the need for change and responding positively to the challenges it represents
- Fostering an open, honest and trusting environment
- Creating an engaged, flexible and capable workforce at all levels
In pursuit of the DPS vision, the site leadership team set some ambitious goals. These goals included:
- All six strategic business units (SBUs) to achieve Stage 3 for all TRACC modules within a specified period
- Achieve a minimum cost saving of US$4 million per annum
- Reduce unscheduled equipment downtime by at least 20% per annum
As the Shenzhen site consists of six SBUs and 10 support functions, the DPS/TRACC implementation was carefully rolled out in four phases. It started with the Leading and Managing Change workshop during which a Site Steering Committee was formally set up, followed by a loss and waste analysis. KPIs were also cascaded down from global business leader level to the shop floor.
Two months later, a pilot project was set up on the compounding line at the largest SBU. The foundation modules of Teamwork, 5S, Visual Management and Focused Improvement were then introduced. Six months after the pilot was introduced, the fourth implementation phase was completed when all nine Operations TRACCs were rolled out. Six Implementation Task Forces (ITFs) for each of the business units were also selected.
The results culminated in the Shenzhen plant receiving the Global DPS Excellence Award to recognize its outstanding
progress in advancing CI practices and sustained performance improvement.
Improvement project hard savings increased year-on-year over a five-year period from US$3.8 million in year one to US$8.1 million in year five. Over the same time period, equipment downtime was reduced from about 200 hours per month to 50 hours per month. Wage roll turnover rate was reduced from about 50% in 2009 to around 10% in recent years. This improvement is mainly as a result of upskilling shop floor employees and greatly improved workforce engagement.
The results culminated in the Shenzhen plant receiving the Global DPS Excellence Award to recognize its outstanding progress in advancing CI practices and sustained performance improvement.
DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential for a better, safer and healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, it offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation, and apparel.
Having started the journey toward operational excellence through the DuPont Production System (DPS), the organization partnered with TRACC in January 2009 to enhance and expand the program to all its sites.
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