Philips - One-piece-flow implementation and introduction of demand-driven supply material to the 100% increase in productivity

Implementation of one-piece-flow and introduction of demand-driven material supply system with the result of increased productivity by 100%

Philips Lighting is a global market leader with recognized expertise in the development, manufacturing and application of innovative lighting solutions. We have pioneered many of the key breakthroughs in lighting over the past 123 years, laying the basis for our current strength and ensuring we are well-placed to be a leader in the digital transformation. Philips Lighting spans the entire lighting value chain – from light sources, luminaires, electronics and controls to full applications and solutions – through the following businesses: Light Sources & Electronics, Consumer Luminaires, Professional Lighting Solutions, Automotive Lighting, and Lumileds.

The Philips factory in Hungary, Tamási producing light sources faced the challenge in 2009, that a decision about the integration of additional product groups made necessary to create additional manufacturing capacity and free up areas within the available production floor. The management aimed to achieve these goals through productivity growth and trough the implementation of lean principles. In consultation with STAUFEN a key product group from the Philips business point of view was identified as the pilot area, or also called "lighthouse project". The goals were clear: introduction of one-piece flow within 12 weeks, increase productivity by at least 50% percent, re-training of entire working staff at this area, including the management team as well. A further objective was to do all of this so that after the completion of the project the internal lean experts and the Philips management became able to roll-out the solutions are applied for the entire production area, without further external consultancy support.

The project started with a BestPractice visit followed by a lean practical training where the participants involved in the project could experience live what kind of results they should achieve together. Subsequently, a detailed analysis of selected manufacturing processes of Philips revealed the baseline and created a common picture for the project team on current status and on the project objectives.

During the first weeks the team designed the so-called "U-assembly lines", as cardboard mock-ups and used those models for real time measurements identified further wastes, eliminated them so improved their design and performance significantly further. In parallel with the development of these assembly islands the dimensioning of their material supply processes started as well. The target was to set up a radically different so-called “milk-run system” for the replenishment of the assembled parts. Concluding the role of the managers have been clarified, and deepened during practical trainings on the production floor, because this – significantly modified – work system demanded a new management approach. Regular presence on the production floor, regular confirmation of standardized work processes, had to become as the integral part of the leaders. The results in figures gives a clear impression about the impact on the company: lead time of the product reduced by 21%, change over time between specific models reduced by 87%, the space used for production decreased by 33%, and all this resulted in an 100% increase in productivity.