Visuality at J&J’s PSGA Manati

Operations Excellence Leader and Master Black Belt Giselle Rodriguez describes how Visual methods are helping her site and its teams on their journey to operational excellence.

By Giselle Rodriguez, Operations Excellence Leader and Master Black Belt, J&J PSGA, Manati, Puerto Rico

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A recent job was to develop visuals for Lean. We developed schedule boards to track projects and installed them at different lines so that operators could provide input. We left the board there for one week, gathered comments, then analyzed them based on 5S, VSM and Visual Factory methods. Now, for any project, we have a storyboard that keeps everyone up-to-date on progress.

Once we’ve prioritized changes and “action items,” we go back a second time and validate the top-ranking initiatives to ensure we’ve selected the right ones. At this point, we make assignments and allocate resources. Some projects are engineering projects, while others are normal improvement projects and assigned to certified Belts or candidates for certification.

Kaizen teams start the process

We use Kaizen teams on all critical lines, particularly those that make high-volume products. Typically, they create the teams that start the 5S process. Members stay on the same Kaizen teams for three months to one year, then move on, which is critical to sharpening their skills. These teams attend to the day to day, and provide feedback on OEE, develop Paretos and evaluate changeover, quality and downtime issues. We have a weekly one-hour meeting to address issues. If a problem has a quick fix, we go ahead and make it.

We audit the teams to ensure that they’re following guidelines and to ensure consistency. Kaizen leaders report to cross-functional Performance Evaluation Teams (PET) at regular meetings. The PET team assesses progress and provides input, allowing us to capture gains and recognize team members.

Our top priority is always empowering people. All operators have the opportunity to be certified for Lean. If they wish to be certified, we pick a test project and assign it to them, then monitor progress monthly. An experienced coach guides the candidate through implementation. Each month, the novice Lean practitioner makes a presentation to staff and managers, and both groups give opinions as to whether goals were met. At the end of the project, if goals are met, that person is certified, and then eligible to pursue a Green or Black Belt.

Staff were recently surveyed on training needs, and some felt that they needed to polish their English skills, so we hired English coaches for them. Others want training in Excel and Powerpoint to improve their presentation skills.

When I cannot attend a PET meeting, I’ll hear about it later from operators. “Why were you absent?” they may ask, or “This is what we covered and here’s what we need from you.” This is exactly the kind of empowered culture that we want to create, and Visual methods have helped us reach this point.

J&J’s staff at Manati are implementing 5S, OEE and Kaizen approaches, with great success.

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