Integrated Manufacturing Excellence Initiative (IMexI Prize 2020)

Kaizen Hansei concluded its inaugural edition of Integrated Manufacturing Excellence Initiative (IMexI) on the 25th of February with a Virtual prize ceremony.

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year! There was the obvious pandemic effect for a large part of the year, followed by some very stringent austerity measures in the months to follow. Almost everything got defined as Non-Essential…including expenses on Manufacturing Excellence.

The program was launched on March 15, 2020 … and the nation went into a lock down from March 22, 2020. 18 applications in all were received for IMexI (as against an initially estimated 40) of which 7 applicants eventually withdrew as the lockdown extended. The Executive Committee was insistent on physical site assessments, which also became a constraint for many a site. (Hence the withdrawals)

11 sites were finally assessed, during December 2020 and Jan 2021. While one site each qualified in the Platinum Medallion Zone and the Gold Medallion Zone, 5 sites qualified in the Silver Medallion Zone and 1 site scored in the Certificate zone.  The other 3, who didn’t make the cut, have been offered a complimentary audit in the 2021 cycle, hoping that they would get time to address their COVID woes and bounce back.

The prize ceremony was anchored by Mr. Jayanth Murthy, Joint Managing Director of Kaizen Institute. Mr. Vinod Grover, founder and Managing Director of Kaizen Institute, South Asia, while welcoming the audience, very crisply presented his views on the disruptive mega trends and what they mean to manufacturing and business excellence.

The keynote was delivered by Mr. Ajay Shankar, who brought in the policy makers perspective and emphasized that sustainability is going to be the key look out factor going forward. Mr. Vijay Kalra, Head, Mahindra Institute of Quality, spoke next, delving on his perspectives of change and what it means for the industry to adopt by way of a quality culture. Dr Ravichandran, Former CEO,. Lucas TVS, was at his usual best, and emphasized on the need for meaningful and relevant change, in order to remain sustainably lean.

Of the eight companies that qualified in the “zones”, each one of them showed the grit and resolve to ensure that the right message is propagated through the manufacturing organization through this participation. That Operational excellence is not compromise-able, irrespective of the upswings or downturns in business! True corona warriors!

The highest honor of the program, the Platinum Medallion, went to the Wabco India unit at Chennai (now ZF). Be it the innovation and concurrent engineering, or other crucial routine activities like the Daily work meetings, it has been practicing all. A good visual factory, with adequate representation of monitored critical metrics in dashboards (placed strategically in the plant) … says it all. The Digital roadmap showcased, has a clear purpose…and is leveraged in manners that are brainstormed to achieve selective strategic advantage. Mr. M S Ravikumar, Integrated Supply Chain Leader, and his team were online while accepting the prize

The next highest prize, the Gold Medallion, went to of ITC Foods division-ICML- Panchla unit. With a dynamic leadership and coupled with the On-Site observations w.r.t PLC control, OEE calculations, capturing of important critical data manually (at present…but capturing for sure), the investment in IOT selectively in the packing lines, the constant effort to balance the fryer with the downstream packers, the excellent HR policies and much more….indicates that this highly motivated team will very soon become a benchmark site for others to emulate. With a constant focus on downstream supply chain inventories, it is on its way to lean. The prize was accepted by Mr.Partho Bhattacharjee, on his team’s behalf.

Prior to this, there was one site qualifying for Certificate of Appreciation- Arysta Unit of UPL Limited and 05 Sites were conferred with the Silver Medallions;

Silver Medallion 1/5:  ACG Pharmapack Pvt. Limited, Shirwal

This facility is based out of the industrial town of Shirwal, near Nashik. They make products that ensure we live healthy. This facility, like almost all of those being recognised today, has hardly taken a break. True corona warriors…and ones who responded splendidly to the call of duty! The visual display of production metrics and the investment in newer state of the art plants is truly commendable. The enthusiasm of their workforce, a young one at that, with special mention to the NPD team that represented their department well…were all truly appreciable.

The Medallion was received by Mr Shiv Shankar (CEO), Mr Balasaheb Phalke (Chief Mfg.

Silver Medallion 2/5:  Microtek New Technologies Pvt Limited, Parwanoo

This facility is located in the hilly environs of North India.. in Parwanoo. A part of a rapidly expanding group of companies, it is headed by a visionary, who pushes his people to dream big…and the supports them to the core to achieve the same. Note the speed of their response, when they ideated, conceptualised and implemented a project to make remote sending thermometers. A national mission to provide these critical and now almost-everywhere used equipment, at very affordable rates. Import substitution and addressing the demand -supply gap in such a short time. The facility, though small, the herculean efforts to put up the unit in a few months and largely compliant to all GMP.

The Medallion was received by Mr Vivek Talmale (Chief Operating Officer),  Mr Akash Somkuwar, Mr Rajan Khurana

Silver Medallion 3/5:  UPL Limited- Unit 8 Jammu

The unit of an Agro-chemical company and making products that ensure our crops and produce is secure. Located in the sensitive area of Jammu, this unit impresses with the sincerity, dedication and display of concrete steps taken by its team in various aspects of OEE improvisation, capacity utilisation, etc. Yet again this plant hardly saw a shutdown, except when it was legislated into closing for a few days.The constant focus on cost reduction at a unit level, is well aimed at ensuring that more products get shifted to this unit, from the global portfolio of the parent organisation.

The Medallion was received byMr Ponnusamy (Unit Head), Mr Sanjay Misra, Mr Radha Raman, Mr Aman Sharma, Mr Atul Verma& Team

Silver Medallion 4/5:  Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited, Raipur

Having made selective investments in equipment and having identified new business areas (railways), this facility has also started off on its plan to digitise critical parts of its processes. What strikes one is that most of the processes have been coupled and the incoming rolled aluminium RM almost proceeds continually to galvanising. A huge positive, especially given the industry that it represents. There are opportunities for improvement however the team at KPTL Raipur is committed to head in the right direction.

The Medallion was received by Mr. Kamal Kishor Jain (Director- India Operations), Mr Harish Lalani, Mr Ketan Nirmal & Team

Silver Medallion 5/5:  UPL Limited Unit 1, Ankleshwar

  • Its headed by a charismatic leader, for those who have seen this unit a few years ago, this presents a pleasant transformation into where concepts of TQM and Statistical Process control are fast gaining pace. As one of the plants identified for challenging Deming, conceptswrt first stabilizing and then becoming capable are already becoming target focus in many process areas. Key KPIs on boards in plants, the Daily Meetings at the plants, and setting up of the Obeya rom, etc are all assurances that this plant is on its way to achieving what its corporate has given it as a mandate…the Deming!

The Medallion was received by Mr. Vinod Singh (Unit Head), Mr. Amol Rade, Mr. Sanjay Dharajiya & Team

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