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CSS presents on self-directed work teams

Connecticut Spring & Stamping (CSS), a manufacturer of precision parts for the medical, aerospace, firearms and defense industries, presented “Self-Directed Work Teams Improve On-time Delivery and Quality,” at the 2012 Northeast Shingo Prize Conference “Learning to Share,” which took place September 25-26, 2012 in Worcester, Mass.. The nationally known conference brought together authors, industry leaders, employee experts and practitioners to work on building a strong regional Lean network.

Gaston Pelletier, vice president of continuous improvement, and Greg Mitera, continuous improvement engineer for Farmington, Conn.-based CSS, gave the presentation, which focused on the company’s successful use of self-directed work teams (SDWTs) to achieve ambitious 100 percent on-time delivery and quality objectives.

CSS used a variety of tools to get them to their objectives establishing an achievable, yet challenging reward system, and instituting a new way of visualizing work that synchronizes front end scheduling with actual shop floor execution.

CSS presentstion

Greg Mitera, continuous improvement engineer at Connecticut Spring & Stamping, gave a presentation at the 2012 Northeast Shingo Prize Conference on CSS' successful use of self-directed work teams.

“With the help of our committed management team, our zealous SDWT champions, dedicated team leaders, and most importantly, participation of everyone on the shop floor, CSS, is well on its way to meeting its ambitious goals, just two years after launching SWDT initiative,” said Steve Dicke, vice president of sales and marketing at CSS. “Key to the success is that management gives the SDWTs the necessary authority and provides the resources to do what it takes to improve the process and delivery performance – and then steps aside to let the teams do the work.”

The SDWTs have implemented hundreds of process and quality improvements, printing the job start date more visibly on work orders, setting up break areas closer to the line, establishing a permanent cell for quick die jobs, giving the team leader control of overtime, tracking the time parts should stay in the department, moving some equipment closer together, and working on ways to get material to the shop floor faster. They also developed a focus on quality that promptly caught internal rejections in the department rather than further down the manufacturing cycle.

Posted Oct. 25, 2012

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