There are various lean programs, one of them being world class manufacturing (WCM), and that is what we’ll be focusing on here today.

World Class Manufacturing Defined

Fiat, an Italian automobile manufacturer, and the best European and Japanese experts came together with the goal of enhancing production standards to a recognized world standard. As a result, that is how world class manufacturing came to be.

WCM is a systematic approach based on the minimization of the seven types of wastes with the help of everyone in an organization and the proactive application of various techniques and standards.

Moreover, WCM applies its concepts to all aspects of the manufacturing plant (or factory) organization, in terms of continuous improvement. That is to say, it aims to continuously improve areas such as safety, quality, maintenance, and logistics.

WCM Techniques and Standards

WCM uses various techniques and standards in one combination or another to continuously improve products, processes, and services. For example, some of the techniques and standards include:

However, to start working on world class manufacturing, some methods you can implement include: 

  1. 1. 5S, to keep the workplace clean, organized, and safe
  2. 2. Just-in-time, to work towards zero inventory throughout the organization 
  3. 3. Lean methodology, to work towards minimizing and eliminating waste throughout the organization
  4. 4. Total preventive maintenance (TPM), to achieve an OEE value that is greater than 80%
  5. 5. Total quality management, to work towards 100% customer satisfaction
  6. 6. Higher employee contribution through quality circles 
  7. 7. Visual management, to create a easily understandable visual information system

The World Class Manufacturing Way

The world class manufacturing way involves seven steps. They are: 

  1. 1. Identify what problems need to be resolved 
  2. 2. Determine where the problems are
  3. 3. Based on cost deployment, organize and prioritize problems accordingly
  4. 4. Analyze the problems, and select appropriate techniques and standards
  5. 5. Estimate how much it will cost to solve the problems
  6. 6. Implement solutions with precision
  7. 7. Evaluate the outcome with the original objective

The 10 World Class Manufacturing Pillars

The 10 world class manufacturing pillars

World class manufacturing foresees 10 pillars that represent the “Temple of WCM”. Moreover, its purpose is to visually teach users that to achieve the standard of excellence, a parallel development of all 10 pillars is essential. Additionally, each pillar represents and focuses on a specific area of the production process and uses relevant tools to achieve global operational excellence. Essentially, the 10 WCM pillars focuses on “Zero” — what this means is:

  1. 1. Safety and Health — zero accidents 
  2. 2. Cost Deployment — identify where the problems are based on cost 
  3. 3. Focused Improvement — leverage Kaizen, 5S, and workforce contribution to reduce costs and attain zero wastes
  4. 4. Autonomous Activities — maintain the basic conditions of machines and equipment to attain zero breakdowns and maintain the basic conditions of the shop-floor 
  5. 5. Professional Maintenance — attain zero breakdowns with maintenance team
  6. 6. Quality Control — attain zero defects based on total quality control (TQC)
  7. 7. Logistics — ensure customers are satisfied through continuous flow of materials and attaining zero shortages
  8. 8. Early Equipment Management — attain zero new product, tooling, and/or equipment losses by implementing new products, tools, and/or equipment smoothly into production
  9. 9. People Development — train and teach employees to materialize WCM, as whether one achieves WCM or not depends on the people
  10. Environment — attain zero energy waste by continuously respecting the community’s environment