The sum of small details counts

Processes are never perfect and always offer room for improvement. In Schmitten we systematically analyse our working processes and, as a result, are able to work more efficiently, reduce costs and guarantee quality.

Die Summe der Kleinigkeiten zählt.
Kaizen 5S in the Schmitten works.

At the Schmitten works, we have been working with Kaizen 5S for over a year. «Kaizen» is Japanese and means »Change for the Better». To us, this approach is known by the term CIP (Continuous Improvement Process), and it is aimed at constantly questioning and optimising working methods. This is done according to five steps (5S): Sort, Streamline, Sanitise, Standardise, Sustain.

The philosophy of continuous improvement is supported and practised by our works management and the executive team. They analyse working processes in regular tours of the factory and define steps for improvement with staff. So it is for example that, thanks to systematically tidied workstations, we have been able to process orders to the usual quality even more efficiently. All tools required, such as nozzle cleaning materials, safety gloves, protective glasses, etc., are to be put in the right place when warming up the extrusion unit. The sum of countless small details counts.

For us, Kaizen is not just restricted to the working environment. Besides orderly workstations, we also strive to constantly improve our production facilities and manufacturing processes. In recent months, we have made progress in maintenance and upkeep. For example, the cleaning and replacement of a wide range of machinery filters has been transferred from the shop floor to the shift groups. This saves valuable time and, with it, costs. It also means that the level of knowledge of those working with the units can be expanded. When cleaning the blowers, the cleaned and disassembled parts of the unit are put back together by the next shift group according to the two-man rule.