A PORT Elizabeth automotive company was recognised this week for improving its productivity.
SJM Flex was named Kaizen champion at the manufacturing seminar and awards function hosted by the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) Eastern Cape at The Radisson Blu Hotel this week.
The company manufactures flexible, stainless steel couplings for the automotive industry, and claimed the top award for their winning idea or Kaizen, a Japanese word meaning “change for the better”. Kaizen is a business philosophy or system that is based on making positive changes on a regular basis, to improve productivity.
Tenneco Emissions Control was first runnerup and second runner-up was Veyance Technologies for achieving significant improvement in manufacturing measured by original equipment efficiency (OEE), the key component of which is machine downtime.
SJM Flex has achieved an improvement in OEE of 40% since joining the AIDC Eastern Cape’s total productive maintenance (TPM) cluster programme and made annual savings of R12-million over the past year with savings for the first quarter of 2015 at R4-million.
SJM Flex works manager Craig Ehlers said the improvements were highly significant given the cost pressures on manufacturers, and were essential for the company’s global competitiveness. “TPM has been highly effective in reducing downtime by empowering operators to take ownership of the optimal efficiency of their machines.”