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lean manufacturing

Lean works! Here is how Rompa Shunxing prevents wastefulness

24 April 2018

Striving towards continuous improvement has become second nature for the people of Rompa Shunxing. Since 2015, our Chinese production site has been using the lean manufacturing method. Colleagues at all levels of the organisation contribute to this effort – and it is paying off! The first results are already visible. Tony Xiao, one of Rompa’s lean experts, gives five examples.

“Small measures can make a huge difference,” Tony emphasises. “That is why it is so important that everyone in the organisation thinks along. After all, the people out on the floor are best able to see how the efficiency of our processes can be further optimised. By rewarding excellent improvement suggestions, we encourage colleagues to prevent wastefulness together.”

Five examples of lean projects at Rompa China

1. The use of jigs
A jig is a custom-made tool that is used to make production processes repeatable and accurate. By using jigs, we can significantly increase our assembly speed and do the same work with fewer people. For example, a jig lets us install screws with just one employee instead of two. The process of installing copper pins is sped up by 70% with the help of a semiautomatic jig.

2. Automatic pump
We replaced the manual pumps with automatic pumps at our Chinese production site. As a result, we can do our work 50% faster and our employees have more energy due to the reduced physical strain of their activities.

Installing copper pins manually.
Installing copper pins manually.
A semiautomatic jig.
A semiautomatic jig.

3.    New machines
Using the lean method sometimes requires investments to be made, for example to purchase new machines. At Rompa Shunxing, we invested in a new four-colour printer to decorate our products. Whereas four people operated four single-colour printers in the past, this new printer can be operated by a single person. We also have a new machine with a pneumatically controlled assembly mould for the assembly of circuit boards. This job used to require two people; now it can be done by one person. On top of that, the new machine produces two circuit boards at a time, instead of just one. 

4.    More efficient transport within the factory
Within the factory, we now transport components on a cart. This saves approximately forty to sixty minutes per day, compared to the old method of manually transporting components in boxes. 

5.    Changing settings
Finally, it turned out to be possible to save both time and labour by changing the setup of several machines. With these modifications, the equipment used for stamping data codes can now be set up by a single person, while this used to require two people.

The old machine used for the assembly of circuit boards.
The old machine used for the assembly of circuit boards.
The new machine produces two circuit boards at a time.
The new machine produces two circuit boards at a time.

Are you curious about our other lean projects?
Lean is embedded in the core of all Rompa locations. In this article, you can read why the lean method is important to us. You can also read how our interns Daniel and Ana María contribute to the implementation of the lean method at Rompa CZ.