The world production leader for cereals, snacks and alternative food, Kellogg’s, had decided to implement K-Lean, the name for the global journey to implement world class manufacturing at all its plants in Latin America.
Headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA, Kellogg’s has a presence in 180 countries, with eight plants in Latin America; four of them in Mexico. In 2009 Kellogg’s had sales of $12.6 billion for flakes, cookies, cereal bars, breads, waffles and alternative food.
Before embarking on the WCM journey, Kellogg’s defined several challenges: world economic changes; supporting consumers and clients; how the supply chain could be a facilitator and not an obstacle; developing people to manage the business in the future; and creating future results today.
After a meticulous selection process during 2008, Kellogg’s selected CCI to support K-Lean implementation at its Mexican plants in Queretaro, Linares, Toluca and Mexicali. The Linares, Toluca and Mexicali plants were targeted to receive training in Leading and Managing Change, Teamwork, Focused Improvement and 5S.
During the assessment phase the Queretaro plant was identified as ideal to convert plant capacity improvements quickly into product sales and cash flow. A 42-week plan was designed using additional CCI resources to expedite achieving incremental capacity, reducing downtime and waste.
Here, the Process and Packaging lines were selected as pilot sites. After a Loss and Waste Analysis, historical production volume data was evaluated to determine main breakdown causes. From this LWA, improvement projects were identified for execution during the next six months. A critical issue was using new teams to implement K-Lean and achieving improvement at the same time. Opportunities were identified for nonplanned shutdown, cleaning, fumigation and adjustments. Also, other opportunities that surfaced during project execution were added to the list. Each product requires a specific production equipment combination, especially at the Corn Combo line.
The fumigation procedure was unique to the overall plant and needed almost one shutdown day a month. Equipment cleaning procedures weren’t standardized – each operator followed his own procedure, while others didn’t know any procedure or time required to complete adjustments.
Another important matter was energy consumption (water and steam) which contributed to non-planned interruptions of steam supply and waste generation in the production process. Instability made it difficult to schedule set-up preparation and changeovers. These unpredictable events led to frustration in certain production and utility processes.
Fortunately, a training program was developed for the three Task Forces and internal trainers were trained to support the implementation process. Thus the foundation for quick wins was created. MDT and SBT meetings were started to track and focus on problems during shifts and they reduced response time by more than 50%.
Maintenance Efficiency Analysis (MEA) showed that non-planned shutdowns caused big problems at the packaging lines. This guided the maintenance area to focus on problems caused by spares and resources unavailability and lack of/maintenance inefficiency. Preventative maintenance proved to use less time and increase availability of certain equipment.
A valuable tool during implementation was Leader Standard Work for line supervisors in their daily or routine work and process mapping during problem-solving analysis sessions. LSW allowed remarkable improvement opportunities in various production process areas.
Set-up Time Reduction (STR) was used in the fumigation process, achieving a drop of 40%; allergenic cleaning time at line 14A in Packaging improved; and the number of boxes produced increased by 50%.
Also STR initially was applied to the steamers’ maintenance on the Corn Combo line and a potential reduction of up to 40% in the first stage and up to 64% in the second stage was shown. As a result of these improvements plant capacity was increased by 3% on a per annum basis.
Although additional capacity improvements are identified, these will require careful study and the completion of Kaizen Blitz projects before they’re implemented.
Intangible benefits from the TRACC implementation include the improvement of worker-supervisor-manager relationships and expansion of the internal capability of the Kellogg Mexican plants to conduct training using staff resources.
In supporting K-Lean, the TRACC implementation achieved a major expansion in training hours per worker and expansion of the number of trainers as per the chart below:
Productivity has improved and using teamwork, management noted a number of operational changes: more eyes looking for and eliminating waste; reducing production cycle time; 4% pa capacity increase on Packaging; reducing non-productive time (cleaning and fumigation); 40% time reduction for fumigating all plants; 66% time reduction for cleaning dryers (Proctor).
Currently, Kellogg’s teams assisted by CCI consultants plan to develop a series of Kaizen Blitzes for maintenance procedures at the Queretaro plant to reduce maintenance intervention time.
Also, some steps planned for 2010 are: prioritizing manufacturing; rolling-out K-Lean/TRACC on the shop floor; implementing K-Lean at all Latin American plants and achieving standardization throughout.