The operators in the Steel Service Center (SSC) of MCB work according to the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) principle, part of the Lean Six-Sigma method. This method helps to improve their activities. In the context of TPM, we started a test with our decoiler 3. This new method will actively use the SMED-method and play the core business/key roll. SMED means ‘Single-minute Exchange of Die’, Riny van de Donk and Johan Groenen have made an intermediate balance.

‘’Because of the SMED method, conversion time of the decoiler will be be shorter in the future. The concept came from Japan, where it was successfully applied at Toyota. Analyzing this conversion process will improve production time, and smaller series can be produced more flexible. Because of this, the duration will be shortened and the delivery reliability will significantly increase,‘’ Riny and Johan clarify.
‘’The whole process of decoiler 3 is closely monitored, at the moment we use tests like OOE (‘Overall Equipment Effectiveness’). This test is about the ratio between the quantities of products delivered and the maximum achievable production. Every minute, the machine is checked if works on the correct speed and if the products are qualitatively good. A number rolls from this test, for example 50, and afterwards we try to increase this number by working more efficient, not by working harder.’’ Explains Riny.

Increase flow speed

“We increase the circulation speed to improve the machine’s productivity. The test is certainly not a check of the way our operators work. What matters are their added value and that their work will become more interesting. We focus on making business easier and more transparent, at the moment we are eliminating flaws in the process.”
Johan and colleague Marika van der Molen regularly film the process at decoiler 3. ‘’The recordings capture every minute before the production starts. Changing the decoiler is time consuming but there is a profit. Like switching the decoiler, the positioning of foil is also a difficult job. We want to change business as effectively as possible.
“We also measure the time between the first quality product and the last one. You can compare it with Formula one, the process of ‘changing tires’ is reduced till a few seconds,’’ explains Johan. ‘’The operators are very pleased with this working manner. This method gives more perspective and the result is visible. There is space in the former technical-service area, at this location business will be discussed and we watch tutorial videos here. When people are seeing their own activities, they will develop a different view. Experience shows that when you visualize things, more will be learnt.’’

Full digital

The set-up is designed to digitize the production process at the decoilers. The control panel is already modernized and it is visual the TPM-building getting shaped. We get comments about decoiler 3, that it has more screens than buttons to operate it. It is starting to live up, states Riny satisfied. We noticed some colleagues have a really hard time with the use of English terms that sneak in the Steel Service Centre (SSC) but this will just be a matter of time.”

Translated by: Jonathan van Deijck