Kaizen Blitz Workshop for Maintenance Cost improvement

The efficiency in planning and rolling out cost reduction initiatives within Qatalum take on several guises. One of which is the Kaizan Blitz which contributes significantly towards productivity gains in a short time.

Kaizen Blitz is a QPS tool that focusses on intense and rapid improvement process in which a team or a department throws all its resources into an improvement project over a short time period. In January 2016, each group was challenged to perform Kaizen Blitz analysis and identify cost reduction opportunities in maintenance material cost and maintenance external service cost. The objective was not just cost reduction, but also identifying areas in each team for overall maintenance program improvement without impacting the reliability of system.

According to Olaf Wigstoel, COO at Qatalum, “A Blitz Kaizen is a very effective way of using the group’s knowledge and experience, to achieve rapid savings within a dedicated area. The ownership of the identified activities will ensure that the ideas are put to work and the benefits are harvested immediately.”

To meet the challenge of optimizing cost without impacting reliability, the QPS team were asked for championing the workshop for each group and using relevant QPS tools for best results.

Department Maintenance teams along with dedicated support from Finance, Procurement and Central Maintenance were asked to share pre-work data. A3’s were developed for Maintenance Materials and Maintenance External Service costs for each department and tools like Pareto Analysis. 5 Why and priority matrix were used to support the exercise.

With excellent support from each of the team members and stakeholders, detail analysis of maintenance cost data were done and action items planned for high cost items, highly recurring items, inventory analysis, repairable process and alternate vendor development.

Reduction maintenance team

Casthouse maintenance team

The total benefit potential identified from the Kaizen Blitz Workshops in Maintenance over and above the 2016 Business Plan totalled approximately US$ 5 million. The Kaizan Blitz was a meticulous and time consuming exercise. The next step is to implement all agreed actions to reap the benefits according to the QPS team.

According to Geir Nilsen, Chief Technical Officer, Technical, “Kaizen Blitz is well proven Improvement tool, and the potential improvements identified during these workshops just demonstrate the effectiveness of the tool. My warmest greetings to all that participated and contributed to this successful exercise. Together we achieve excellence.”