February 27, 2002

Automotive companies and suppliers win lion’s share of awards for lean manufacturing

Logan, Utah – Automotive companies and automotive parts suppliers were among the big winners of The Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing announced yesterday. A record number of plants, three in the small business category and fourteen in the large business category, have earned what Business Week has called ” … the Nobel prize of manufacturing … .”

The Shingo prize program is named in honour of Dr. Shigeo Shingo, an engineering genius who helped create the Toyota Production System and other related lean manufacturing processes.

“We’re unique in the criteria by which we evaluate,” explained Ross Robson, Shingo Prize executive director. “We recognize companies for streamlining their processes and cutting out the waste, which prepared 2002 recipients to adapt to the economic recession better than non-lean focused plants.”

This year’s Shingo Prize Recipients (in alphabetical order) included:

  • Bridgestone/Firestone, Aiken County, S.C. — The plant is a business unit of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. BFSC produces passenger and light truck tires for the original equipment and replacement markets. Ground breaking for the 1.8 million square foot plant was announced in August of 1997. Just 12 months later, BFSC produced its first test tire, making this the fastest plant start up in the history of the tire industry. The facility currently employs 900 team members. Since 2000, BFSC has had a 53% reduction in waste, a 38% reduction in scrap and a 39% reduction in cost per thousand pounds of rubber. The Aiken County plant is the only passenger tire plant in North America to achieve OSHA VPP Palmetto Star status.

  • Delphi Automotive Systems, Adrian Operations, Adrian, Mich. — Using injection molding, painting and assembly processes, Adrian produces instrument panel components and systems for General Motors and International Truck. Following the Delphi Manufacturing System’s lean principles, the team achieved
    99.99% on-time delivery to all customers, a 90% quality improvement, a 12% improvement in productivity and a 67% scrap rate reduction. In addition, over a two-year period, the plant’s employees reached a million hours without a lost work day twice.

  • Delphi Automotive Systems, Cortland Molding Operation, Warren, Ohio — This state-of-the-art injection molding facility produces more than 1.1 billion plastic components yearly for the electrical connection systems market every year for more than 100 customers worldwide, with zero defects. Recognized for its integrated information technology system, the plant houses 120 injection molding presses where real-time production data is available on every piece. Through the application of Lean and Delphi Manufacturing System principles, some of their milestone achievements include: reduced scrap by more than 68%; improved first time quality by 62%; and achievement of zero
    blocked cavities for improved manufacturing up-time. The operation is a mixture of manual and automated systems that minimizes total cost, at outstanding quality and delivery levels.

  • Delphi Alambrados y Circuitos electricos VII, “Los Mochis Plant,” Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico — A true partnership with its union, dedication and hard work, paired with the successful implementation of Lean Manufacturing have propelled this plant to benchmark status within the Delphi Packard Electric Systems division — the world’s largest producer of automotive wiring and connection systems. Nearly 1,250 employees build 4.2 million products and systems a year, with quality levels at 1 PPM for its customers. Their commitment to Excellence — exceeding customer expectations — has also led this team to achievements such as their productivity improvement of up to 1.4% in one year and zero lost-time accidents since 1999.
  • Delphi Delco Electronics de Mexico, Deltronicos Operations, Matamoros, Mexico — With nearly 5300 employees, Deltronicos is the supplier of choice of various OEM customers around the world, with daily production of 30,000 radio receivers, satellite digital audio receivers, remote playback units and controllers, and audio amplifiers. At the end of 2001, the facility had reduced premium freight, scrap, overtime and FTQ by more than 60%, achieved 100% employee participation with implemented improvement ideas and logged over 37 million man-hours without a lost work day.
  • Delphi Automotive Systems, Harrison Thermal Systems, Rio Bravo XX, Juarez, Mexico — Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems, a division of Delphi Automotive Systems started Rio Bravo Electricos XX, S.A. de C.V. (RBE XX) in Juarez, Mexico in 1995 — the first Delphi Thermal plant in that country. The plant produces approximately 5.23 million accumulator dehydrators, condensers, radiators and heating ventilation and air conditioning units each year. Through the use of Continuous Improvement, Lean Manufacturing and Value Stream Management, RBE XX has significantly improved its competitive position with accomplishments such as 92% improvement in PPM in the last three years, and improved its total operating cost 66% to increase the plant’s profitability in 2001.

  • Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant, Chicago, Ill. — Chicago Assembly is one of the most senior facilities within Ford Motor Company. The plant location started production in 1924. Currently, it produces the Taurus and Sable models. Chicago Assembly’s transformation toward a Lean manufacturing
    facility starts and is driven by its 2500 employees. The plant uses all the tools of the Ford Production System, such as Error Proofing, Quick Change Over, Total Predictive Maintenance and Visual Factory to name a few. They also utilize the Six-Sigma methodology to support the efforts toward lean. Chicago Assembly recognizes the journey toward lean and is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

  • Ford Motor Company Engine Plant, Romeo, Mich. — The Romeo Engine Plant, a converted Tractor and Equipment plant, began Engine operations in 1987. In 1990, the first 4.6L 2-valve per cylinder V-8 engine was produced for the Lincoln Town Car. Since 1987, the plant has grown to 2.2 million square feet, employing 1600-plus dedicated team members capable of producing over 800,000 V-8 engines annually. Current products include 4.6L 2-valve per cylinder passenger car and truck engines, 4.6L 2-valve per cylinder aluminum block truck engines, and 5.4L 4-valve per cylinder aluminum block specialty and high performance truck engines. Empowered teams of employees utilize the lean manufacturing principles of the Ford Production System to continually drive waste out of the process. Romeo teams have reduced Lost Time Injury rates by 69%, removed $5.9 million in production inventory and improved customer warranty cost by 59%.
  • Ford Motor Company Chihuahua Engine Plant, Chihuahua, Mexico — This Ford Motor Company facility produces Zetec and I4 Duratec HE engines in two buildings with an installed capacity of 435,000 engines per year for Zetec, and 430,000 engines per year for I4. The I4 engines went into production in 2000 and is considered one of the lightest engines in weight, and achieves high performance in NVY. The use of lean manufacturing practices has driven the facility to reduce 24% on total cost net inventory, and a 55% reduction on freight cost per unit, during the last year.
  • Freudenberg-NOK, Shelbyville, Ind. — This facility produces molded automotive steering and suspension components, as well as custom-blended rubber compounds for other Freudenberg-NOK facilities. The tenacious application of lean systems has helped this 35-year-old plant reach single-digit parts per million (ppm) defect rates, reduce scrap by 67%, boost on-time delivery to 99.5%, increase its sales per employee by 29% and improve its return on net assets from 19% to 33%.
  • Grupo CYDSA, Industria Quimica del Istmo, S.A. de C.V. (IQUISA), Monterrey and Tlaxcala, Mexico — Manufactures rayon grade soda, chloridric acid, sodium hipochlorite and liquid chlorine. Customers include Kimberly-Clark, PEMEX, DUPONT, Procter & Gamble, Cydsa-BAYER, Mardupol, NEMAK (automotive) and many other chemical companies in Mexico. Strong leadership, coupled with highly empowered employees and workers ensure high quality products, environmental responsibility and superior service performance to all of IQUISA’s stakeholders.
  • Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations, Troy, Ala. — Operational since 1994, Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations is a manufacturing and final assembly plant for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The 3863 acre complex, presently employs 236 people in support of seven missile production programs for the U.S. Armed Services: Javelin, Longbow, Hellfire and Predator in the Anti-Armor Missile mission area; and newer programs — Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), Patriot and AGM-142. Through expansion of existing efforts and the recent addition of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile production program, Pike County Operations is expected to grow in the near term.
  • Tyco Fire and Security Service’s Puerto Rico Plant, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico — Maker of Sensormatic brand electronic anti-theft solutions. The 318,000 square foot plant is the largest electronics manufacturing operation under one roof on the island and employs more than 1200 associates. Sensormatic brand products are used by many of the world’s leading retailers including Wal-Mart, Kroger, The Home Depot, CVS, The Hudson’s Bay Company and Dairy Farm, among others, to help control inventory shrinkage. The plant also manufactures Sensormatic brand security products such as access control and video surveillance, used by more than half of the world’s Fortune 500 companies. The operation annually produces more than 1.3 million printed circuit board assemblies, 35000 CCTV cameras and 2.2 billion tags and labels. The plant’s achievements include reducing manufacturing cycle time by 82%, slashing inventory by 58% and improving on-time delivery by 129%.
  • The Ensign-Bickford Company (EBCo), Graham, Ken. – Simsbury, Conn. – Spanish Fork, Utah – Wolf Lake, Ill. — Established in 1836, EBCo is the leading North American manufacturer of blast initiations systems for the mining, construction and quarry industries. The Graham, KY facility produces high explosives and Primacord(R) detonating cords. Detonator components and signal transmission tube are manufactured in Simsbury, CT and shipped to the Wolf Lake, Ill. plant for final assembly into Primadet(R) non-electric detonators. The Spanish Fork, UT plant specializes in high explosives and Trojan(R) cast booster manufacture. The application of lean principles and strong employee involvement across EBCo’s operations have resulted in a 41% reduction in inventory, a 50% reduction in customer complaints, a 38% increase in sales per employee, a 50% reduction in delivery lead time and a 300% increase in ROI.
  • The Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing is administered by the College of Business, Utah State University, in cooperation with several distinguished non-profit and corporate organizations. The award is given annually to manufacturers in the United States, Canada and Mexico who deliver world-class performance through lean principles and techniques in core manufacturing and business processes. Awards will be presented at the 14th Annual Shingo Prize Conference and Awards Ceremony to be held the week of April 8, 2002, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

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