Case: Just-in-Time in Maintenance

A major Swedish producer of high-strength steel had issues sustaining adequate capacity in maintenance at the plant for continuous casting. The plant had been torn due to an increased quote of high-strength steel variants in the production and demanded much maintenance. The common perception was that the plant was under-staffed, needed more space for maintenance and was too out of date.

Methodology

SAM got involved in order to find an alternative solution. By carefully studying the operation and gaining a detailed understanding of the issues, a tailor-made training program was developed. The program involved employees and leaders within the whole maintenance flow. The aim was to support the employees with new principles and methods, training the staff in the daily operations. The introduction of a consumption driven flow, with pull buffers built on just-in-time theory, was key. In parallel, SAM worked with management and employees in order to establish a continuous improvement structure, according to MBM. All co-workers were involved to safeguard that the new way of working would continue to last long-term.

 

Results

  • The main goal of managing the increased need of maintenance was obtained quickly, and without any investments
  • Other departments were able to utilize more space, due to a reduced need of space in the maintenance plant
  • Lead times were generally shortened and tied up capital was reduced
  • Waste in terms of over-production was eliminated
  • The largest gain was probably in more satisfied employees, who were given more power and opportunities to influence their work situation, in addition to a clear sense of how their work affected the whole production flow

 

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