The Japanese word for “improvement” is called “Kaizen” and this word often refers to activities that continually improve business functions by all employees from the executives to assembly line workers. Kaizen was first practiced in Japanese businesses, like Toyota, after World War II, and it has since been applied to manufacturing operations. Kaizen usually delivers small improvements, which have been shown to yield large results in terms of a company’s overall productivity. It’s also a process that, when done correctly, simplifies human effort and teaches employees how to identify and eliminate waste in business processes.
The format for kaizen can be individual, suggestion system, small group, or large group. Kaizen on a broad, cross-departmental scale in companies contributes to total quality management and reduces human efforts through increasing productivity using simple automation, improving work flows and balancing the lines to equalize times, etc. Kaizen includes making changes and monitoring results, then making adjustments when needed as enumerated by the PDCA cycle. Large-scale pre-planning and extensive project scheduling are replaced by smaller experiments, which can be rapidly adapted as new improvements are provided. When applied, the process increases productivity and morale by encouraging workers to participate in kaizen activities and showcasing them via competitions.
Applying the Kaizen Approach
While manufacturing various components and products, Syrma’s team tries to maximize their yields and productivity and to achieve cost reductions from existing equipment and processes before buying solutions. We use the kaizen practice to improve our current systems and techniques, in order to sustain and improve the profitability of our business. We strongly believe in fostering innovative ideas, especially those from our workers that are involved in production, to prevent operational constraints.
These ideas are presented at our kaizen competitions, which we’ve been conducting for the past 3 years. We’ve seen consistent developments, such as in the amount of participating teams, female contestants, improvements submitted, and diversity in the composition of teams. The best teams also compete in external inter-company competitions organized by trade bodies. Our team has already won twice in external competition at the southern regional level, as well as at the national level, to represent our company.
For each competition, Syrma employees participate in teams, each comprising of two to three members with one mentor guiding the group. Teams are formed within each section and department that has already implemented new improvements. Each team identifies internal problems related to cost, process, productivity, quality, and/or safety. These problems are resolved through the kaizen approach.
Syrma’s 2019 Kaizen Competition
This year’s competition was held on June 13th and there were 28 projects presented. The presentations focused on eliminating specific processes and reducing operator fatigue, as well as cost savings, productivity improvement, etc. To participate in this competition, each team submitted a call for papers and registered. These ideas were showcased via a presentation and shown by the team in front of judges, which are in-house experts. The judges selected the best kaizen project based on each team’s productivity, quality, cost, delivery, and service improvements.
The top two winners were nominated for the Southern Region Kaizen Competitions conducted by CII/QCFI Forums in the southern part of India. The best kaizen idea is recognized and awarded with a cash prize. Out of the 28 teams that participated in this year’s internal kaizen competition, held at Syrma’s Chennai facility, the following three teams were recognized as best Kaizens for 2019 and awarded. Most of the same team members were sent to participate in the external Kaizen competition, which was held at the Westin Hotel on July 5th. Out of the 150 regional teams participated in this competition, our First Potting Machine team (Sujeeth Kumar B, Kanagavel Karthik R, Durgadevi G) won 3rd prize.
- 1st Prize: Second Potting Process for RFID: Arunraj A, Nijanthan S, Suvetha Jothinathan
- 2nd Prize: First Potting Machine: Sujeeth Kumar B, Kanagavel Karthik R, KA Nikhil
- 3rd Prize: Eliminate Wave Soldering Process: Yuvaraj P, Kosala Devi V
Backed by 40 Years of Expertise
We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets, and we look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home India market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs seeking to enter the India market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.
Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport, with additional road and rail connectivity linking to the rest of India and beyond, as well as infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force availability, both technical and manual, to rapidly scale to client demand.
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