Millog is a specialist in material services management and a strategic partner of the Finnish Defence Forces, for example. The company has set a target to increase productivity and improve production processes in all areas.

To achieve this target, Millog started a 6S project in 2018 and it was revealed that a new layout was also necessary in one location. To this end, the company started a cooperation project with Pinja in the following year. During the project, productivity of this unit was developed by analyzing and improving the efficiency of material flows and the use and storage of materials. In addition, a layout for minimizing waste and a plan for advancing operations toward Lean manufacture were created.

“Many methods were used in the project. The process mapping gave a common understanding of how the process advances and where its defects are. We described the present state carefully. To do this, we interviewed the different functions”, explains Pinja’s project leader Aku Mäkimattila.

Interviews and observations also enabled us to create a list of waste whose elimination was a central part of the solution. “The root cause analysis also highlighted some challenges related to the use of the ERP system. This was not an area of focus at the outset of the project, but then it was revealed that changes were necessary in the system features and its use in order to achieve the targets”, says Hanna-Leena Islander from Millog.

The system must support the different functions and the cooperation between them to achieve a seamless entity and avoid spending time and energy in unnecessary activities. The results of the data analysis provided the facts about the present state and strengthened the customer’s view of it developed on the basis of experience.

A new production layout improves efficiency of operations

Based on the analysis, a new production layout including functional descriptions was created in cooperation with the customer.

“Existing structures and terrains set their own limits. We assessed different alternatives with the customer and also considered comments and ideas of people who perform the practical work. As a result of our cooperation, a plan was created that met the targets set”, Aku Mäkimattila continues. After this, Millog started to implement the 6S (5S + Safety) plan in the location.

“All materials in the location were analyzed and unnecessary items were removed. The facilities were cleaned, remaining and new materials were arranged in their new places and all materials and passageways were marked. Kanban boards were introduced to support daily management and best practices were standardized and placed under follow-up”, Hanna-Leena Islander explains.

Work has proceeded smoothly in a positive spirit of collaboration and the new layout has turned out to be effective. “The production personnel has given positive feedback and everyone is eager to follow the new operating model. Of course, there is still a lot to do, but the journey has started well and the results speak for themselves. This is a good start”, says Millog’s Hanna-Leena Islander happily.

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