The lean development project helped Betset to improve production and reduce reclamation costs by more than 50%.

The cooperation in brief

Long-term cooperation and partnership

Pinja and Betset starts working together in 2017 through the first reporting collaboration. In 2020, the cooperation deepened in the context of a Power BI development project aimed at introducing a knowledge management culture.

Production bottlenecks revealed with the help of a Lean development project

In 2022, a lean development project is launched at Betset’s Mikkeli factory to improve production efficiency and reduce costs related to complaints.

The results speak for themselves

As a result of the cooperation, the cost of complaints is more than halved compared to the same period the year before. Future plans include integrating the Novi maintenance system closely into the company’s operations.

With the help of the daily management model, clear operating methods for management and feedback have been defined. In this way, matters will be dealt with on a daily basis in a sufficiently versatile and wide-ranging manner. Every employee is entitled to the same level of management and participation.

Kari Laamanen, factory manager at Betset Mikkeli

Lean methods to highlight production bottlenecks

According to Kari Laamanen, factory manager at Betset’s Mikkeli plant, the solution to the production challenges was sought using Lean methods together with an expert from Pinja.

– Our first step was to carry out an analysis of the current situation and a value stream map of the production process. We made observations and broke the process down into components step by step. We looked at working methods and the time wasted. We identified and considered where we could improve and how to better anticipate production in the future, Laamanen explains.

After the observation phase, the next step was to adapt the practices on the basis of the findings. Tangible changes were made at several stages of production, such as the movement of elements from one stage to another. Attention was also paid to issues such as the collection of materials.

– No longer does the person in charge of manufacturing have to spend time searching for and fetching supplies, but instead a person is assigned to the job who delivers the products to the molds the day before. All this saves professionals’ time for productive work.

Kanban collection cards are also used at the workstations. Cards are used for materials that are needed regularly, such as nails, junction boxes, and tapes. When the products are running low, the card is left to collectors so that they know which products need to be delivered to the mold. This helps maintain the warehouse, so you don’t run out of goods unexpectedly, but also significantly reduces the need to fetch goods from the warehouse to the tables.

Daily management model in place

Soon after the value stream mapping, a step was taken towards a new model for daily management.

– In practice, the daily management model is a visualization of the production hall’s operations on whiteboards, where the staff meets every morning, Laamanen explains.

In Mikkeli, four daily management events with whiteboards are used to go through the challenges and successes of the previous day and the current day. Issues such as targets, quality, renovations or breakdowns are discussed. A meeting and a whiteboard are used to address issues across the factory, such as production volumes, efficiency, and safety at work.

– The tables are used to define clear procedures for management and feedback. This way, the issues covered every day are sufficiently varied and wide-ranging. Every employee is entitled to the same level of management and participation. Anyone can write on the board, Laamanen says.

In addition, the 5S method is being introduced. In practice, this means that all supplies and materials have a designated place, and are kept there. The solution also includes the organization of warehouses. The aim is that goods are always kept in a specific place, and everyone knows where to find them. This eliminates time wasted on searching in vain.

The results speak for themselves

According to Laamanen, the measures taken so far have had an impact on the flow of work, the flow of information, safety at work, and the comfort of the working environment. At the same time, the improvement in the factory’s performance has been significant. 

Product quality has also taken a significant leap forward, with improved cooperation between work functions.

– Compared to the reference period of 2021, claims costs have fallen from 4% to less than half, and the trend is steadily downwards. This is a big deal for us and a really big cost saving.

According to Laamanen, success is the result of many factors. One of the big factors is the commitment of the staff to the common goal. After initial doubts, the developments have been welcomed. For example, daily management meetings have become part of everyday life, and are seen as a way of making the most of one’s daily work.

Although a lot of work has been done, there is still a lot left undone. According to Laamanen, it is important to break down the development path into appropriately sized sub-packages. It is not worth aiming for too much change at once, and it is only natural that sometimes there are setbacks and a tendency to fall back on old ways of doing things.

Pinja as a partner

Laamanen is very happy with the cooperation with Pinja.

– Leo Riihiaho has been a real development partner for us. The introduction to the Lean philosophy has not been limited to theory, but he is really interested in seeing how we succeed in improving production. Leo is still in regular contact with us, and actively asks for the latest updates, Laamanen says.

Laamanen considers the investment in Lean training to be good and worthwhile.

– Development projects are often perceived as heavy and laborious. And that’s partly true. But sometimes you have to invest, even financially, to create something new. If we can change the way we work and improve efficiency, the work has never been wasted, says Laamanen.

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