It is now an imperative for Chinese manufacturers to improve labor productivity and equipment uptime. Our consultants apply lean tools and principles to your manufacturing to achieve these objectives. Here is an overview of the process improvement methodologies that we follow:
Is the layout conducive to a good flow of materials? Are processes as connected as the current state of technology allows? Can certain tasks be semi-automated or automated without reducing the flexibility of your line? Are the operators well trained and do they have good work instructions? Are the line leaders and the supervisors doing a good job?
CMC consultants bring in the engineering muscle you need to make quick progress without significant investment.
We work on solutions that make sense to your business. For example, if long changeovers are an obstacle to a good flow of materials, we help re-engineer them based on the SMED approach. We can help put U-shaped cells in place if they show their value with your processes.
These lean tools and techniques have allowed typical Chinese factories to increase their efficiency by 20-60%. One critical indicator we look at is value-added time. We often get operators from 3-6 seconds per minute to 20 seconds or more — it means the time they spend actually transforming the product is multiplied by a factor of three or more. This can realistically be achieved with a 6-month lean improvement project.
Most Chinese manufacturers see automation as the solution to rising labor costs. Yet we have seen multiple instances of a factory buying robots and not being able to maintain them properly. A poorly set piece of complex equipment can run a factory out of business through a combination of down time and poor quality.
The concepts of preventive and predictive maintenance are foreign to most Chinese manufacturing managers. They usually fix machines after they break. This approach must change before the factory goes down the path of automation.
Your operators, line leaders, supervisors, and engineers have a lot of good ideas. They know your processes very well — much better than your managers or than any external consultants you bring in. Giving them some introductory training modules such as the 7 wastes can help you tap into their ideas, and in turn help you save a lot of money.
The most important is to change the mindset of the managers and supervisors. I spend a lot of time explaining to them how other factories have successfully applied the right lean tools for their situation.
Hank has proven expertise in driving change and lean manufacturing transformations, especially as it relates to NPI, engineering team management, and worker training.
Our consultants have experience in the following industries: automotive, electronics, medical devices, aerospace, oil & gas, metal (die casting, machining…) and plastic , toys, furniture, food, battery & chemicals, and cut & sew.
We mostly work in the following provinces: Guangdong (Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Shantou), Zhejiang (Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou), Shanghai , Jiangsu (Kunshan, Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing), Fujian (Xiamen, Quanzhou, Fuzhou).