Lean Manufacturing

Trelleborg Excellence Initiative celebrates 10 years of continuous improvement

For a manufacturer of critical, high-performance products, excellence is not optional. That’s why Trelleborg has long pursued a program of continuous quality improvement.

From its introduction in 2008 at our operation in Clermont-Ferrand, the Trelleborg Excellence Initiative has aimed to secure customer value and efficiency while maintaining a safe and resource-efficient workplace. We have introduced a variety of lean manufacturing practices into our operation (including 5S, SMED, TPM, Hoshin, Standardization, VSM, and QRQC). A description of this toolbox, The the Manufacturing Excellence Reference Guide, has given us a common vision of excellence in manufacturing, and its concepts are taught to every new employee. Across all three continents in which Trelleborg operates, all of us follow the same roadmap toward an ever-rising standard of excellence.

As we reflect on the past ten years, our view remains the same as in 2008, when the Trelleborg management team adopted a variation of these seven key planks of our Vision of Excellence:

1. Just-in-time must be our driving force.
2. We must have a vision at the site level, first for flow optimization (Hoshin, labor efficiency) and second, for equipment efficiency (5S, TPM, SMED).
3. We must put strong constraints on production’ surfaces.
4. The operator is king...
5. ...but standardization is our goal.
6. Every three-day event (5S, TPM, etc.) must lead to a breakthrough.
7. To maximize speed and momentum, all projects must be pursued by a cross-functional task force that includes operators, middle managers, and the managing director.

5S: Method of standardizing the workstation environment
SMED: Single Minute Exchange of Die
Standard Work: method of standardizing the work content at a workstation
VSM: Value Stream Mapping
TPM: Total Productive Maintenance
Hoshin: a standard method for applying the JIT principle
QRQC: Quick Response Quality Control

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