Zodiac Interconnect UK (part of the global Zodiac Aerospace) engineers and delivers innovative and cost-effective interconnect products and systems for harsh and safety-critical environments in the aerospace, defence, industrial, and energy industries.
In the UK the production, engineering and design plant is in Slough, where Zodiac Interconnect UK has around 125 employees. The formal implementation of lean began in 2012 because the business acknowledged the benefits of lean such as reducing lead-times by identifying waste, the elimination of defects by developing a culture of problem solving and the reduction in variation by making processes predictable and stable through standardisation.
The lean tools today are helping in the effort to make Zodiac Interconnect UK a facility that is recognised for operational excellence and the Business Improvement Techniques training is empowering staff with the essential techniques to deliver on this core objective.
During six, half-day sessions in the first part of BIT training, five employees learnt key theories and developed their knowledge in areas including organisational safety, effective team working, 5S workplace organisation techniques, visual management systems and continuous improvement techniques using the Japanese Kaizen approach to problem solving and process improvement.
It’s changed our paradigm and the way the team leaders see their role is different now. Before they might say ‘It’s too much work’ and now they say ‘let’s collect data and do it.’ They now feel empowered to solve the problem themselves.
Khurram Chaudhry, Lean Manager, Zodiac Interconnect UK
In the second half of the 12 month bespoke training the employees worked in three teams to identify and tackle three individual workplace related projects on Quality, Cost and Delivery.
Having completed their training, the team leaders are coaching their individual teams in the business improvement techniques and are auditing each other’s 5S+1 audits. They have also identified and are working on new projects on safety, on reducing the lead time of processes on the assembly line and on improving production efficiency by reducing rejections.
There is now a more methodological approach to problems and trying to get to the root causes. The course was well delivered, fully interactive and enjoyable.
Mazar Hussain, Team Leader
Following the BIT training we applied the techniques for 5S workplace organisation to other departments to see where the wastage was, which has been successful. I am more aware of my environment, not only for the safety audit but for tidiness and cleanliness to maintain a certain standard, save time and eliminate waste. And by working in a team it has helped. I am not doing it on my own.
Raj Sall, Team Leader
I had some Lean training before this but this has helped make my knowledge a lot better. I have now started training my team.
David McEwan, Team Leader
The BIT trainers helped make it a lot easier for me going into the role of Team Leader and I learnt how to handle situations. It helped me understand the techniques and the audits you need to do and it helped me with team work. I used to like doing things by myself but I can now get my team involved. I am on the Health & Safety committee and it has made me more aware of how things are done.
Michael Moore, Team Leader