A team of key managers from Simonds Farsons Cisk plc recently visited a range of companies in Porto, Portugal to gain first-hand experience of Lean Manufacturing principles and practices in action.
Led by Mr Michael Farrugia, Executive Director for Operations & Business Development, and organised in partnership with Kaizen Institute, the purpose of the visit was to continue to invest in a culture of continuous improvement and manufacturing excellence.
Following an intensive multi-million investment in the company’s operation carried out over this last decade, Farsons has in parallel focused and intensified its LEAN programme through its partnership with the Kaizen Institute, which is now running into its second consecutive year. Commenting on the programme and investment, CEO Norman Aquilina said, “the key objective of LEAN management is that of continuously improving and relentlessly working on eliminating waste from our processes to add maximum value for our customers. In these two years we have already witnessed positive developments undertaken in our Beer Packaging and PET departments, as well as within Logistics, which have led to encouraging results.”
During the benchmark tour, a total of five companies were visited ranging from a beverage supplier and an auto parts distributor to a retail chain and food and wine producer. “Each company visited,” said Michael Farrugia, “demonstrated a variety of Lean principles and practices including 5S, visual management and problem-solving tools, a focus on safety and standardisation, intelligent automation and much more. Apart from the learning experience, it was also an opportunity for the team to travel together, bringing added benefits, by energising and aligning management and strengthening teamwork and cross-functional cooperation. This should lead to further motivation to implement Kaizen, through fresh ideas and breakthrough innovation.”
Lean Manufacturing is today synonymous with world-class manufacturing and fundamentally tied to the systematic elimination of waste in all aspects. While its origins lie within the car manufacturing industry of post-war Japan, it is today widely applied across the globe in an array of industries and sectors.