100 per cent Lean

The Leicester-based power resistor manufacturer Cressall Resistors is claiming that a lean manufacturing programme has helped increase turnover by 100 per cent in 18 months and contributed to the successful integration of a £1 million business at the plant.

The company said that its fundamental strategy was based on the use of eight lean tools: value stream mapping, 5S, standard work, flow, pull, TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), mistake proofing and set-up reduction. After producing a strategic plan, manufacturing director Cy Wilkinson, began the implementation process by providing uniforms for the manufacturing team and implementing a set of external lean training courses that resulted in improved manufacturing efficiency and provided staff with the chance to obtain an NVQ Level two qualification. Wilkinson said: "When I joined Cressall in June 2006, there had already been several attempts to roll out 5S and to implement flow, all with varying degrees of success. Though there was impetus from senior management, these earlier lean attempts failed due to lack of follow-up and buy in from the work force."