JUKI Magazine PageNavigation
JUKI Magazine Contents
Their Ultimate Goal: To Increase the Profit Margin by 10% by
3 Days of Factory Consulting Made Their Problems Clear.
An integrated manufacturing and Sales Company, M/S DAIDOH LIMITED CO. LTD. established in the year 1879 is having a long history of over 130 years in spinning and dyeing, weaving, finishing and sewing. The company advanced into Shanghai in 1995. All the manufacturing know-how cultivated in Japan was transferred to China. They have been producing gentlemen and ladies' dresses under the company's brand label "Brooks Brothers" etc.
The Company started operating their 2nd Sewing Unit at Ma'anshan in ANHUI in 2001. The production of men's trousers, ladies' jackets, men's tailored suits, and men's jackets was transferred one by one from Shanghai to this new unit.
The Shanghai Factory, which has operating over 13 years, can develop the technology on its own, rather than just relying on the technology inherited from Japan. Production efficiency of the sewing (apparel) section of Ma'anshan Factory, however, is still not up to the mark. Problem here is the productivity. "Labor cost is cheaper compared to Shanghai, but that advantage is counterbalanced due to the low productivity" (Mr. TSUKAHARA)
Since Ma'anshan Factory has an advantage of inexpensive labor cost, they intend to make this factory as the Production Base. To make the best use of Expert-Multi skilled operators, increasing productivity of the factory has been a significant task.
Now, they decided to challenge increasing productivity. Goal is increasing the profit margin by 10%. JUKI Sewing Research Institute supported the project.
First, Workshop and OJT Sessions were held for the Production managers and Production line-leaders on February and November in 2008. Then on February 2009, experts from JUKI Sewing Research Institute practiced a Factory Study for 3 days. As a result, different waste in times in searching for parts, sorting of parts, shortage of parts, waiting, transportation/moving inbetween the processes, re-sewing, leaving one's seat for tea/restroom/physical reason -etc were found. By analyzing the each cause, various problems below were identified.
(1) Work-In-Process (WIP) is too many (2) Work Balance is poor (3) Layout is not optimized (4) Education of following rule is not enough-- etc. (refer Table 1)
Analyze Problems and Causes that Identified by Factory Study
Approach towards improvement is necessary once the problem and cause is identified. Line Balancing, Layout Improvement, and Elimination of Work-In-Process inventory were held in the men's trouser production line, because that is the maximum order volume product in the Ma'anshan Factory.
First, they made Process Analysis of one regular item. Later, they made Standard Master Process Analysis for each and every item. It takes time to make, but it shortens time for making another Process Analysis of the new order.
Next step is Process Organization. Manpower was sorted in Parts sections or Assembly section. Front body, back body, fly, belt loop, assembly- each section keeps balance of their output. In Assembly section especially, Line Balance, considering the workload of each operator, is important. Moreover, the Deputy Director- Mr. Wang
Jun practiced Work Distribution. That helps the group leaders to decide who is in charge of each process.
They also changed layout. Since their average order lot size is 300 pcs, style changes occurs very often, at least once a day. That is why line layout needs more flexibility. (refer Table 2) Points are as follows:
Line Balance and Layout Improvement generated 30%
Improvement in the Productivity
Finally, they decreased a number of parts fed into production lines, so that it can reduce Work-In-Process (WIP). Points implemented were, are as follow:
As a result, all the Muda (Waste) such as searching for a part, sorting, movement, transfer, operator waiting time, re-sewing, helping/assisting were reduced respectively. Without Muda, it's easier to control the progress, and to shorten the delivery lead time.
The production of men's trousers has increased by 20% from January to May in this current year.Target has been set to increase it further by 10% by the end of the year. Further task would be to spread this improvement way horizontally to other lines, and to enhance the productivity level of the entire factory.
In order to realize this, it is important for line leaders to know the way of process analysis to line balance. Also motivation innovation for operators is essential too.
Presently approx 60% of the products are exported to Japan, and approx 40% are to Europe and U.S.A. They are expecting an increasing demand for high quality suits in Chinese domestic market. The role of the Ma’anshan Apparel Factory, the production base, will now become more crucial.