Lean manufacturing makes Hanovia more efficient

UV disinfection specialist Hanovia has made dramatic improvements in the production quality and lead time of its UV lamp shop by using Lean Manufacturing tools and improved measurement systems. Since implementing the changes, manufacturing lead times for spare UV lamps have been reduced by as much as 30%. In other news, its parent company Halma PLC also buys Tritech and System Technologies...

UV disinfection systems maker makes dramatic improvements with enhanced management practices. In other news, British firm's parent company Halma PLC also buys Tritech and System Technologies.

SLOUGH, England, Dec. 5, 2006 -- UV disinfection specialist Hanovia has made dramatic improvements in the production quality and lead time of its UV lamp shop by using Lean Manufacturing tools and improved measurement systems.

Lean Manufacturing is a management philosophy that focuses on the reduction of waste, improving quality, and developing strong business relationships. A number of Halma Group companies have also adopted the philosophy, with great success.

Since implementing the changes, manufacturing lead times for spare UV lamps have been reduced by as much as 30%, meaning customers now get even better quality lamps and better service levels. This is particularly important as the majority of Hanovia's customers use the lamps in process-critical applications, where quality and reliability is of the utmost importance.

"In many organizations the graphs and measures displaying production targets are nothing more than wallpaper," commented Hanovia's Managing Director Craig Howarth. "We therefore decided to analyze our performance: were we good or bad, were we giving customers what they needed? This allowed us to focus on areas requiring improvement and to determine if the changes were actually having the desired affect. The sole aim of the exercise was to drive improvement -- measuring for any other reason is frankly a waste of time and certainly not a value-adding activity."

"A metric that gives a real understanding of a process is Delivery Schedule Achievement," Craig added, "which we measure as batch throughput AND Right First Time (1) -- measured as scrap and re-work. Measuring these figures showed we could make further improvements in lead time and Right First Time manufacture. Visual flow systems were implemented that helped to identify bottlenecks, with investment going in to new equipment to eliminate these process constraints."

Hanovia identified further improvements to the layout of the manufacturing area, with appropriate adjustments made to the process flow and stock locations reducing the burden on operators, allowing them to spend more time on productive work. An empowerment program has seen the operators making significant improvements to the quality and flow of their own work.

"The whole exercise has been an unprecedented success," concluded Craig. "It has made our UV lamp shop more efficient and given an renewed sense of enthusiasm and responsibility to our employees."

NOTE: (1) Right First Time manufacturing is a methodology used to enable organizations to turn incoming data and materials into finished product as quickly as possible and with the least amount of waste. The benefit of Right First Time Manufacturing is to shorten New Product Introduction time, reduce or eliminate scrap during first article build, and to ensure long term quality in the placement process.

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Also see: "Halma acquires Tritech and System Technologies"

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